A Texas teen lost his fingers and a leg, and faces potential blindness, after a sparkler bomb exploded into his face.
Rowdy Radford, a 15-year-old from Sargent, Texas, made an explosive out of 180 sparklers wrapped in electrical tape. The teen lit the explosive behind his aunt’s house and it exploded in his face, causing the devastating injuries.
The teen was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was placed in intensive care and had his left leg amputated below the knee. His hands, chest and face were severely burned and his eyes were bandaged heavily.
He and a friend, who suffered minor injuries, had metal shards in their eyes.
“Rowdy has always been known for making his booms and he makes his booms by scaring everybody,” Aunt Samantha Hansen told KHOU. “As soon as Rowdy went down to light it, it exploded. He didn’t even have a chance to run.”
Rowdy’s mother, Wendy Smith, said the sparkler explosive was an annual tradition.
“They do it every year,” she said. “But we didn’t know this was going to be a big one.”
Explosives such as the one created by Radford are popular among children around the 4th of July, with many uploading footage of explosions to YouTube.
“It’s really hard to see your baby go through all this. I just want the parents to know don’t let your kids play with fireworks, it’s not worth it. It really ain’t,” Smith said. “It hurts because I want to see my kid talk to me and he’s not because he can’t. It’s really rough.”
A GoFundMe page was ultimately set up to help the family with medical expenses. An update was given recently on the teen’s condition.
Update on Rowdy: Part of his left leg has been removed. He is on a breathing machine. He will be having more surgery on the same leg to see if they can save the rest of the leg. He will also have another surgery on his right leg and both of his arms. They were able to fix and reattach his fingers but doctors don't know if the fingers will work if not they will have to be removed. He will also need more surgeries on his eyes to remove the metal fragments and there is a 50/50 chance on his vision. Please continue to pray for Rowdy and his family especially his mom Wendy during this time. Thank you everyone for your support.