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FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The ‘Big Brother’ of a Ft. Lauderdale teen who lost his hand in a fireworks accident has stepped up to help his family.
On July 8th, Javonte McNair, 13, was riding his bike to a friend’s house in the area of Powerline Road and 16th Street when he says someone threw a firework at him as a prank. McNair’s grandmother Minnie Pearl McNair said when he put his hand up to deflect it, it exploded and severed his his hand.
“The doctor say he must have caught it to blow his hand off,” she said.
After the explosion, she said he ran home to tell his frightened mother what happened.
“It’s close to losing a child to see your child coming in with a nub and no hand is there,” she said.
Shrapnel also hit his upper body and the fuse from the explosive became embedded in his left eye.
Paramedics were able to recover most of his hand, but NcNair said they were unable to re-attach it because it was so badly damaged. However, after a five-hour eye surgery at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, there is hope that he will regain some sight in his left eye.
People on scene said a second boy also suffered injuries in the explosion and there were conflicting accounts of what happened with the firework. McNair said said her grandson is adamant that a boy threw the firework at him and he caught it as a reflex.
Through the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County, Javonte is the little brother to Troy McHatton of the Broward Sheriff’s Office Fleet Services Division.
McHatton described McNair as a shy, talented and funny teen. He added that he was a star football player for the Northwest Broward Raiders and a soon-to-be 7th-grader at Sunrise Middle School.
As the family’s medical bills mount, McHatton has set up a gofundme page to help the family. As of Wednesday, they had a more than $10,000 of the $40,000 goal.