It was New Year’s Eve 2017 and we went to celebrate with our friends and their children. We decided to let off some fireworks in the garden like we do every year. We all went outside to watch them and everyone was having a good time.
Amelia was stood with her dad when one of the fireworks fell over and hit the teddy Amelia was holding, this immediately went up in flames. Amelia started screaming as she was panicking. The firework was not finished as shortly afterwards another flare hit her. Amelia’s dad put the flames out with his hands and rushed her to the outside tap. She was so brave and remained calm as he did this.
Amelia had been hit by two flares, one on her chest and one on her neck. The flames were so high that they singed her eyelashes and fringe, and her face was completely covered in soot. We were so scared the flames had caught her face but luckily because Amelia’s dad had acted so quickly the burns on her chest and neck were minimal, but the burn on her wrist was severe.
The flames burnt holes all over Amelia’s clothes. I can remember my oldest daughter Lucy running over to me screaming Amelia is on fire. The fear in her face was terrifying. Amelia was so still and quiet as she was in shock and shaking. After the flames had gone my husband shouted to call an ambulance, we all brought Amelia inside and wrapped cling film around her burns and stayed with her until the ambulance arrived.
Everyone was panicking and screaming, all the other children were sent upstairs out of the way. After about 10 minutes the ambulance arrived, they wanted to take Amelia to hospital. We had to leave Lucy, who was very distressed, with a friend as they wouldn’t allow her in the ambulance. In the ambulance I was panicked and had to be calmed down by the paramedic. I can remember seeing fireworks as we were driving to the hospital and feeling physically sick. Dad was sat with Amelia in the back.
When we arrived at the hospital the nurses and doctors had to clean Amelia's burns. Amelia was crying out for them to stop and asked us why we wouldn’t tell them to stop. We reassured her as best as we could, but this was very traumatic for Amelia and for us to see our little girl in so much pain. The doctor was worried about Amelia’s breathing with the firework hitting her neck. So they monitored this carefully and gave her morphine.
We can't describe to you how awful this was, and if we knew seriously how dangerous fireworks can be we would have never taken our family to a fireworks display. Amelia was in hospital for three days, after they discharged her she had follow up appointments every two days for about eight weeks. After this we had weekly appointments with the burns specialist and occupational therapists, daily dressing changes and we had to soak Amelia’s burns in water to clean them. This was a horrific thing to do but completely necessary to help her heal. Amelia obviously was in a lot of pain so she had to take regular medication to reduce this.
After two weeks off school Amelia eventually was able to go back. Just when you think that isn't enough, Amelia was then diagnosed with post-traumatic stress due to the accident. Amelia regularly had night terrors about the house setting on fire or getting hit by a firework, and was scared of any type of fire or loud noises. Amelia received 12 weeks of psychological support. With Lucy seeing her little sister on fire she developed anxiety and had support from the psychologist also.
Once the burns had healed over, Amelia had to wear a compression band, as the scarring was raised and very red. She wore this for 10 months after her injury. During this time we were told that she might need a skin graft as the burn on her wrist was very deep, luckily Amelia has super healing skin and we were all over the moon this didn’t need to happen. Our last appointment at the children's burns unit was on January 15, 2019. We can’t believe it’s nearly all over but 2018 was the most upsetting time of our lives. We are so grateful for the amount of support and love we have had to help us through this.
Our sole purpose of sharing our tragic event is to try and raise awareness about how dangerous fireworks can be and the risks involved, particularly the risks when having them at home. If one person reads this and thinks twice about fireworks or takes more safety measures when doing them it could be one less person going through a similar experience and so makes sharing this so worth it.
We couldn't protect Amelia from the pain she went through and the fears she developed, this hurt us as parents just as much as seeing her getting hit by a firework.
Posted: 2/1/2019 3:10:14 PM