Several fireworks accidents have been reported in July in South Florida and a Broward County teenager knows exactly how the most recent victims are feeling.
Javonte McNair lost his hand and sight in one eye in 2015 when a firecracker he was holding suddenly went off.
The teen told Local 10 News that being involved in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program has helped with his recovery.
McNair was 13 when he was injured by the firecracker.
He is now in ninth grade and said the loss of his hand has been very difficult, but being involved in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program has helped.
He said his big brother, Troy, encouraged him during some very dark days.
"He's like a father to me. We do cool things, we hang out," McNair said.
Troy's wife, Traci, is also a part of McNair's life, and helped him pick out an outfit for a fundraising fashion show for the organization.
"Without them, I don't know where we'd be, because that's how much love and support they've shown my family throughout the years," McNair said.
McNair said he didn't want people to see his injury at first, but he said having a big brother to hang out with and to count on has gotten him back to the sports he loves.
"He came and talked to me and said everything was going to be OK, and I listened. And ever since then, it's been OK," McNair said. "I'm playing football, hanging with friends and going places."
McNair is headed to high school this year with a new attitude toward life.
"He's coming out of it and coming through," the teen's mother, Theresa McNair, said. "It will take time. It will take time, but he's coming through."
This BBSNews article originally appeared on News | WPLG.