SARGENT, TEXAS — Every year around the 4th of July, Rowdy Radford, 15, would surprise his family by lighting off one of his patented “booms,” which are homemade sparkler bombs known for their explosive capabilities. Unfortunately, this year, things did not go according to plan.

On Saturday, July 2 at his aunt’s home in Sargent, Texas, Rowdy and a friend strapped together 182 sparklers with electrical tape, the most they’d ever used. With one of the sparklers extended to act as the wick, he lit it with the intention of getting away before the rest ignited. However, the bomb lit too quickly, and Rowdy was caught in the blast.

His left leg had to be amputated, his right leg still requires surgery, and there’s a 50/50 chance he’ll lose his eyesight permanently. Doctors were able to fix and reattach his fingers, but if they fail to function, they’ll have to be removed as well.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Rowdy’s family pay his medical fees, and it has already brought in more than $10,000 in donations. His mother has also appeared on several news outlets warning parents about the dangers of fireworks.
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