INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Doctors say the best way to avoid fireworks injuries is to leave the show to the professionals.
It’s a lesson one man from Brownsburg learned the hard way.
In 2016, Danny Wood and a neighbor were celebrating the Cubs World Series win by lighting fireworks.
Wood admits they were lighting them incorrectly, holding them in their hands, then lighting and throwing them.
He said at one point when he was looking away, his neighbor lit the firework he was holding and it “went off in my hand like a grenade.”
“It kind of blew me back,” Wood said. “It went white and I couldn’t hear.”
Wood was able to rip the neck off of his t-shirt to use as a tourniquet.
“I could see that it was pretty bad, it was missing a lot of things,” he said. “My thumb was kind of, not really there.”
Doctors say Wood is lucky. Injuries can require amputation, others are fatal.
“Burns are probably the most common, but there can be significant injuries to soft tissue, fractures, broken bones,” said St. Vincent Hospital emergency room doctor Andy Isch.
Wood said doctors discussed amputating his hand at the wrist, but they were able to save part of his hand.
“If any kid or somebody had to go through this it’d be tough to get through,” he said.
Doctors say common fireworks cause the most injuries they treat, like bottle rockets, firecrackers and sparklers, which can reach several thousand degrees.
Wood has gone through six surgeries in the past 18 months.
“My daughter asked me if my hand was ever going to grow back,” he said. “She’s seven, and that was hard to hear and to tell her that it wouldn’t.”
FIREWORKS SAFETY TIPS
- Keep kids away.
- If a firework is a dud, don’t relight or grab it.
- Douse duds and used fireworks with water.
- Don’t mix alcohol and fireworks.
- If you’re injured, doctors say remove any clothes that are burning and get to the hospital right away.