JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 teen is speaking out after almost losing his leg to fireworks this past Fourth of July.
19-year-old Justin Morgan and three friends were setting off a sparkler bomb when the explosion knocked him to the ground.
The bomb not only knocked him to the ground but severely injured him.
"They just kept telling me to breathe, come on breathe and at that point I was shaking in so much pain I was so scared," Morgan said.
Morgan lit the sparkler bomb on the ground, which is a large bunch of sparklers taped together.
"You take sparklers and electrical tape and tape them together, break some sticks off and you light it and throw it and run and it makes a big explosion," Morgan said.
However, the fireworks did not go as planned.
"I got about half way turned and I heard an explosion and everything went numb. I remember I couldn't hear anything and kept screaming help," Morgan said.
Morgan's friends thought he was kidding at first.
"He was screaming and we thought he was kind of joking at first because he is a prankster," friend Hunter Stuebe said.
However, the incident was not a joke.
"We saw the hole and the blood. There was literally sticks sticking out of his side and legs," Stuebe said.
The bomb pierced Morgan's leg and sticks struck his entire body.
"I had a hole in my leg, I was freaking out, I had sticks sticking out of me," Morgan said. "All the sticks were sticking out of my body because they didn't burn, it was just debris flying."
Morgan's friends knew they had to get him to the hospital.
"I was worried about him because I didn't know how deep it was and what all veins and arteries it hit but I just knew we needed to go to the hospital," friend Morgan Bice said.
So they got him in the truck and took off to the ER, all while Morgan was wondering if he'd keep his leg.
"I honestly thought when I got in the truck I was going to lose my leg when I got to the hospital," Morgan said. "I remember thinking this is bad, this is real bad and I was honestly scared."
Morgan's mother met him at the hospital where she was hit with tons of emotions.
"You don't ever want to see your child hurt and then part of you is thankful they are still there and breathing but part of you wants to beat the day lights out of him because what was he doing with the fireworks," Morgan's mother Kim Tribble said.
His mother said the worse part was seeing her son in so much pain.
"That was gut wrenching," Tribble said. "It was hard watching him go through the pain and watching them change dressings and things like that."
Tribble told Region 8 News she never imagined something like this would happen.
"I never dreamed in a million years that they could do that," Tribble said.
Morgan is at home recovering, but that was not until he had two surgeries.
All four teens said they regret the incident and encourage people to follow directions when shooting off fireworks.
"It is just not worth it, it just isn't. Use them the way they are intended," Tribble said.
They say experimenting with fireworks is not worth the risk.
"I think back on it and it wasn't really worth it for five minutes of fun," Stuebe said.
Morgan said he hopes his story can help keep someone else from going through the pain he went through.
"It wasn't worth it, If I could go back I wouldn't do it. The pain and everything I have had to go through was not worth it," Morgan said.
Morgan's family said his leg and cuts should heal fine, but it was touch and go for a few days.
He also lost all the hearing in his left ear which doctors say only time will show if he gains any of the hearing back.
Morgan said he cannot thank his friends Hunter Stuebe, Morgan Bice and Ryan Teague for helping him before his leg got any worse.
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