Deaf child lucky to have his sight after firework explodes in face

Cape Town - A 7-year-old boy is lucky to have his sight after a firework exploded in his face at a Delft park.

Jahmeil Galant and a relative, also 7, were playing together when an older child threw a firecracker in his direction, his mother Sharlene Galant told News24 on Thursday.

“He went closer to have a look at what it was and picked it up. It started spinning and it exploded,” she said.

“My son is deaf and didn't realise what was happening. When the children brought him home and I saw his blood-spattered face, I was horrified. He couldn’t open his eyes.”

- Read more: Warning: Guy Fawkes fireworks can kill

She rushed Jahmeil to the doctor, who referred her to Tygerberg Hospital.

“While we sat there, children injured by firecrackers came in for treatment. One little girl lost her fingertips because one of those bombs exploded in her hand,” she said.

“I just prayed that my child wouldn't lose his sight. We sat there through the night until the specialist saw him the next morning. When she checked him out, she told me we are lucky he didn't lose his eyes.”

Galant said she has never bought her son fireworks.

"It’s dangerous," she insisted. "I don’t see the point of it. All it does is traumatise people and scare the dogs."

"Since we returned from hospital, my child doesn’t want to play outside. He is so traumatised. I hope people see the damage these things can cause and think twice before buying it."

Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town has warned that anyone under the age of 16 was not permitted to discharge fireworks.

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA also called for a "firework-free year", saying Guy Fawkes Day celebrations "results in more than just one night of torment – [it leads] to weeks of suffering for many lost and injured animals".

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