Sandy Family warns of danger of fireworks after daughter is hit in the left eye, loses vision
Jun 30, 2023, 10:17 AM | Updated: Jul 2, 2023, 8:39 pm
SANDY, Utah — An accident that happened in a matter of seconds and changed Giselle Sullivan’s life forever. On July 4, 2016, she and her family were enjoying fireworks in their backyard when an aerial tipped over.
“I do remember crying a lot and like everybody panicking,” Giselle said.
The now 12-year-old is completely blind in her left eye. She doesn’t remember much about the pain she was in but her mother, Heather, can recall the moment her daughter was hit.
“Your whole life for your child can change in a second,” Heather Sullivan said. “When we realized what was happening, I went to go shield and put my hands around her, which was probably seconds, but in that time she had already been hit.”
The aerial firework tipped over and shot shrapnel right at Giselle’s eye and cheek.
“The explosion ricocheted one of the aerials and caused it to tip over and then it just was misfiring in all directions,” Sullivan said. “Giselle’s eye was swollen shut, it was a bunch of shrapnel under her eyelid, surrounding her eye. There were burns all around her eye.”
Doctors told the family the impact was so severe it burned her eye’s retina wall.
The family hopes by sharing their experience they can prevent this from happening to others. They suggest wearing goggles around fireworks and to consider securing aerial fireworks before lighting them off.
“You can just put some heavy rocks around it, a brick or something like that on four sides just so that the box can’t tip over,” Sullivan said.