14-year-old may lose sight in 1 eye after fireworks accident

Published: Jul. 5, 2023 at 7:58 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WHBQ) - While many Americans have been shooting off fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of the July holiday, A teenager is now at risk of losing sight in one of his eyes after he was hit in the face with a firework on Monday.

A doctor warned about the dangers of fireworks and how it makes eye and hand injuries most common this time of year.

“I wasn’t scared until I seen the blood out of my eye. Then I started freaking out a bit,” Brayden Burgess said.

It was all fun and games at first for Brayden and his friends playing with Roman candles Sunday night in Holcomb, Missouri.

Pop after pop, the 14-year-old was standing just a couple feet away from the fireworks until things got out of hand.

“We thought it was the last shot. I was walking back to the guy. He put it down, then it shot me in the eye,” Brayden said.

That’s when Brayden’s mother Tiffani Burgess said she went into panic mode.

“We got him underneath the water at first to get all the blood off him. Then I realized he really did had been shot. I told him to ‘Get in the car, let’s go,’” Burgess said.

Burgess said they drove two hours to get to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis.

Doctors told her Brayden does not have any vision in his right eye and needs surgery.

“He can only see peripheral, but there is still possibility that he will not gain full vision back.” Burgess said.

A study from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows this is an alarming trend.

Last year there were 10,200 emergency room visits linked to fireworks across the U.S.

Dr. Dale Criner, chief medical officer for Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital, said eye and hand injuries are the most common injuries they see during this time of year.

“People tend to hold them where they are not supposed to,” he said. “They also can have severe burns. Clothes can catch on fire. We do see facial and eye-related injuries. Unfortunately, some people do lose vision with these accidents.”

Brayden is scheduled to undergo surgery at Le Bonheur Childrens Hospital this week.