In early July, our firm's Oklahoma burn injury lawyers discussed fireworks injuries on this blog. That article described some of the injuries associated with fireworks malfunction and listed several Oklahomans who have been killed or critically injured by fireworks over the last several years. Unfortunately, July 2012 did not remain free from fireworks injuries for Oklahomans. That month, 22-year-old Taron Pounds of Tulsa was severely injured when a commercial-grade mortar shell malfunctioned during a family gathering to set off fireworks. The accident caused catastrophic damage to the young man's face. He lost most of the bone supporting the mid-face, significant portions of nasal and cheek bones, orbital bones supporting his eye, the roof of his mouth, and several teeth. Currently, Pounds is unable to see through his left eye, but it is unclear whether the loss of his sight will remain permanent. His family is grateful that Pounds, a talented jazz guitarist, did not suffer damage to his fingers during the ordeal, and despite his injuries, he has continued to play and learn new instruments. Last week, Taron Pounds underwent surgery to reconstruct and repair the left side of his face. The surgery, performed in Oklahoma City, was the second surgery to repair the young man's face. In a previous surgery, doctors repaired his jaw and stabilized the bones around his mouth. Plates and wires were implanted to support his face, jaw, and mouth. The surgery was so extensive that it was several weeks before Pounds could undergo the second surgery. On Friday, doctors were able to perform the 22-hour surgery that repaired the left side of his face. During that surgery, surgeons removed portions of his fibula (leg bone) and tissue from his leg to repair the young man's mid-face. Despite two extensive reconstructive surgeries thus far, Pounds faces several more surgeries and at least six more months to achieve an appearance that is "cosmetically acceptable." Burn injuries and explosion injuries can be particularly painful, both physically and emotionally. The medical and reconstructive care following serious accidents from incendiary devices can take months or even years to complete. Even following the surgeries, an accident victim may be left with permanent physical and emotional scars. A skilled personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you need for the fullest recovery possible.
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