MEDINA, OH (WOIO) - A Medina man is offering up advice as the Fourth of July holiday weekend approaches: leave the fireworks to the experts.
Cleveland 19 News wants to warn readers that the photos associated with this story are graphic.
John Baron said he's blessed to be alive after nearly dying in a firecracker accident in June 2015.
"I went in the back yard and put my homemade pipe in the ground and decided to blow off a firework and tragically it didn't turn out very well," he said.
In addition to second-degree burns, the explosion broke bones in his face, his eye sockets had to be reconstructed, he lost all his teeth, and he spent 13 days in the Intensive Care Unit and on life support at MetroHealth Burn Care Center.
His doctors say it was critical.
"We had to do a tracheotomy, and that was because he couldn't breathe through his mouth. And there was a feeding tube through his stomach. And he couldn't chew because of the facial injuries, so (the injuries) were very significant," said Dr. Charles Yowler, the MetroHealth Burn Care Center director.
Baron, who doesn't remember much about that day, is still recovering.
His wife MaryBeth, who's been there from the very beginning, said they want to share this story and the graphic photos to warn others.
"It's called an accident for a reason, but it's a terrible, senseless, avoidable accident that has changed our lives forever," she said.
Baron wants people to think before they light any fuses this weekend.
"Before you light that, think of the value of your life and the value of the people around you and how important that is to you," he said.
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