My son, 17, lost an EYE when out-of-control firework at social club’s display exploded in crowd… he was just a bystander | The Sun
A MUM whose son lost an eye when a firework exploded in his face hopes one day he could undergo a pioneering eye transplant.
Tyler Norris-Sayers was at an organised display when an out of control rocket flew into the crowd, causing his devastating injury.
The 17-year-old underwent more than 70 operations – but doctors couldn't save his eye.
He has now decided not to go ahead with having a prosthetic one fitted and is now focusing all his attention on his level 1 mechanics course at Blackburn College.
Eventually he hopes to get an apprenticeship and work across all cars including hybrids and EVs.
His mum Nicola, 45, says it was a "massive decision" for Tyler not to go ahead with another surgery but hopes one day that advances in technology could result in a full eye transplant.
She said: "He was going to have his prosthetic surgery but changed his mind. I do feel like it’s a huge decision for him to make at this age he is only 17.
"How can he be expected to just make massive decisions like that that will affect his whole life.
"He doesn’t need it, it's more that he would heal faster being young.
"He can wait a few years. It’s no problem as his eye isn’t getting any worse and with the way science and technology develop the muscles in the eye still work so who knows what the future holds.
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"There may even be ground-breaking developments one day for full eye transplants.
"Right now he is focused on being a teen. He’s at college, learning to drive and just catching up on all the lost time.
"He has had enough surgeries he said and is afraid if he does go through with it and it fails it’s a big surgery to have for it not to work – a huge risk, which I get."
She added: "I think he is enjoying the course. He gets himself up and goes on the bus to Blackburn, which is the nearest college for his course and it has an all singing all dancing active working garage."
Tyler was at a firework display at the Railway Social Club in Burnley, Lancs, with Nicola when a firework shot into the 100-strong crowd.
A 60-year-old woman and an eight year old girl were also injured in the blast.
Admin manager Nicola, who was stood behind a security barrier with Tyler, heard him crying on the floor and looked down to see his jacket engulfed in flames.
She said: “It all happened so quickly. It hit Tyler in the right eye. It was going off when it hit him. It knocked him off his feet.
"When I looked round, I heard him crying. He was on fire. He had two big holes in his jacket from the fire.
“I ran over to him and when I saw his face, I couldn’t believe it. I was trying to put the fire out. I was screaming. I took him inside the club and lead him down on top of the bar.
“The landlady took him off me and took him to the bathroom. An off-duty nurse called Billie Jolly, who was attending the display, took control. She knew what to do.
“There was no blood but his skin was peeling off his face. The nurse dealt with it and kept compressing it with cold water.
“She sent people away to get glasses of water and towels as she kept me and Tyler calm while we waited for an ambulance.”
A rapid response fire crew, paramedics, police and an on-call doctor were called to the club.
Tyler was rushed to Royal Blackburn Hospital where he underwent surgery to remove debris from his swollen eye.
The next day he was transferred to the burns unit at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital for further treatment.
Police and the Health and Safety Executive launched a probe into the accident in 2016.
It later emerged organisers did not have insurance for the event following a probe by Lancashire County Council.
Tyler, 17, added: "I can't remember exactly how it felt as it was such a long time ago, but I do know it could have been a lot worse than it was.
"But now I still feel fireworks are dangerous if in the wrong environment, and I feel my accident was just an accident, and nobody's fault.
"Just be careful and follow the rules. And don't get too close."
Nicola was forced to spend thousands and travel hundreds of miles for Tyler's treatment at the UK's top eye hospital.
He underwent several operations at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead – 274 miles away from their home in Burnley.
The 548-mile round trip cost Nicola £1,000 each time in travel and hotel costs.
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The Railway Social Club was contacted for comment.
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