A South Florida man said he is grateful to be alive after a firework exploded in his hand last week.
"I just made a bad decision, made a mistake," Elliott Andrews said.
Andrews said he lost a finger in the accident that happened June 27 outside his home in Fort Lauderdale.
"It's bad, man. I blow, you know, a couple fingers off. Thank God for the person I was around saved a couple of my fingers," Andrews said.
Andrews went back to Broward Health Medical Center on Tuesday for a checkup.
He said he is still in terrible pain.
"I was lighting the firework and it just exploded too quick," Andrews said. "It was too late for me to react or anything. It could have been worse. I could have lost my whole hand."
A similar incident was reported in Fort Lauderdale on Monday.
Police said another man was taken to a hospital after a firework mishap outside his home on Northwest 11th Place.
"All I heard was a loud boom," said John Reed, a neighbor who tried to help. "His thumb is literally split to pieces."
Fort Lauderdale police identified the victim in that case as Gary Jeroy.
They said Jeroy lost four fingers and his thumb was partially removed.
As for Andrews, he said he was lucky doctors were able to reattach a couple of fingers.
But they couldn't save his index finger.
"I'm going to be a man about it. I ain't cry about it when it happened, and I ain't going to cry about it now," Andrews said. "It could have been worse. I could have lost my whole hand."
Andrews said he isn't going to let the incident stop him from lighting fireworks again.
"I ain't going to let nothing bring me down until the Lord calls on me and tells me he want me to come home. You understand where I'm coming from?" Andrews said. "So I'm going to keep living."
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 250 people in the U.S. go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the four weeks around the Fourth of July.