Wills Eye doctor warns of the potential danger of fireworks

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Doctor warns of potential danger of fireworks: Vernon Odom reports on Action News at 5 p.m., July 2, 2018 (WPVI)

Amateur fireworks victim Rasaan Urquhart was getting a checkup Monday at Wills Eye Hospital by the surgeon who treated his devastating eye injury.

Urquhart was out on Cottman Avenue back in February, celebrating the Eagles Super Bowl win when he assisted a stranger in lighting her seventh and final firecracker of the night.

Suddenly his life changed forever.

"The funny part is I knew I was blind as soon as it happened," said Urquhart. "Once I got up, I felt like my eye was off my face. I couldn't see anything."

Urquhart is now permanently without sight in his left eye.

For Dr. Philip Storey, this is a sad tale he's heard so many times before.

"Honestly he was lucky. Even though he had an awful injury to one eye, he's our better outcome," said Storey. "If his face had been turned just a little, he'd be blind in both eyes forever."

Storey said he is now worried more than ever because Pennsylvania's revised law now allows consumers greater access to potentially harmful fireworks. Even big-box stores like Walmart and Target are selling them over-the-counter.

"With more explosives come greater risks, with more gunpowder and larger devices. It's scary," said Storey.

With easier access, the amateurs have been shooting off fireworks all over the area for weeks already.

"The best thing to do is stay away from them as much as possible," said Urquhart.

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