A Texas teenager lost part of his leg and may permanently lose his eyesight after attempting to set off a self-made explosive device of 180 sparklers Saturday night, multiple outlets report.
According to Click 2 Houston, 15-year-old Rowdy Radford bent down to light the homemade “sparkler bomb” tied together with tape when the creation blew up in his face.
A GoFundMe page set up to help with Radford’s medical expenses says the teen is on a breathing machine at Children s Memorial Hermann Hospital after having part of his left leg amputated. Doctors are working to save the rest of the leg. His fingers were able to be saved and reattached, but it is unknown if they will function properly. In addition, he will have more surgery on his right leg and both arms.
Doctors also have to remove metal fragments from his eyes. According to the GoFundMe page, “there is a 50/50 chance on his vision.”
A friend who suffered less serious injuries also had metal shards from the explosion in his eyes, according to KHOU.
Radford’s mother, Wendy Smith, told KHOU this was not the first time her son experimented with fireworks.
“They do it every year,” said Smith. “But we didn t know this was going to be a big one.”
KHOU reports the sparkler bomb caused a four-foot hole in the ground and was heard by neighbors up to four miles away.
“Rowdy has always been known for making his booms and he makes his booms by scaring everybody,” Radford’s aunt, Samantha Hansen, told the news station.
Matagorda County Sheriff’s Office was not immediately available for comment.
Radford’s mother also told Click2Houston she hopes her son’s injuries are a lesson to others thinking about experimenting with fireworks: “I just want this out, I want everybody to see this so they’ll know what happened: Don’t let their kids do this. It’s not worth it.”