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Teen Loses Leg, Maybe Sight From DIY 'Sparkler Bomb'

15-year-old Texas boy tied nearly 200 sparklers together before lighting them
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2016 11:15 AM CDT
Teen Loses Leg, Maybe Sight From DIY 'Sparkler Bomb'
Rowdy Radford   (GoFundMe)

Even a single sparkler on the Fourth of July can cause harm—and a Texas teen learned they're even more dangerous when you tie a bunch of them together, NBC News reports. Rowdy Radford, 15, was at his aunt's home in Sargent on Saturday when he decided to bunch nearly 200 of the handheld fireworks with tape, KHOU reports. But things went terribly wrong when he lit up the "sparkler bomb," which exploded in his face, causing injuries to his whole body, per Click2Houston. Several of his fingers were blasted off, his face was severely burned, and doctors ended up amputating his left leg below the knee due to his injuries and inserting screws and pins into his arms to keep them together. Doctors also aren't sure if he'll see again: KHOU notes metal pieces from the sparklers flew into his eyes and those of a friend, who wasn't as seriously injured.

"Rowdy has always been known for making his booms, and he makes his booms by scaring everybody," his aunt says, with his mom, Wendy Smith, adding that he does it every year but that "we didn't know this was going to be a big one." A family friend has set up a GoFundMe page for the teen, who was set to be a freshman this fall. Smith tells Click2Houston she wants her son's accident publicized so people will know "[not to] let their kids do this. It's not worth it." Rowdy's aunt, meanwhile, says, "We know he's going to pull through; it wouldn't be Rowdy … if he didn't." (A 9-year-old lost her entire hand to fireworks in a California park.)

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