LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Every Fourth of July, there are warnings about the dangers of illegal fireworks, but rarely do you see first-hand the devastating and life-altering effects they can have on someone.
One local woman is still dealing with the aftermath of playing with illegal fireworks three years ago. She suffered an injury that could have killed her.
Twenty-one-year-old Casandra Bossie was enjoying her Fourth of July at a barbecue with friends. And like so many other holiday barbecues, this one came complete with fireworks — some of them were illegal — and that one decision changed her life forever.
“Everybody was playing with the mortar fireworks and actually holding them from the base and shooting them off and later down the line asked me if I wanted to do one so I said why not?” Bossie said.
That decision on July 4, 2014 almost cost Casandra Bosse her life. She had watched for hours as her friends shot off mortars without any consequence. In fact, the first mortar she tried was like so many others, but the second was different.
“While I was holding it, the tube blew, it shot back and hit my chest and like it would blow up in the air, it blew up right in my face and on me,” she said.
Casandra was rushed to UMC trauma. The first photos show the immediate aftermath. Doctors told her, she might lose her hand.
“My wrist, you could see all the tendons in the inside, my whole wrist was shattered. My whole skin was burned through so you could see tendons,” she said.
Talking about it still makes her emotional.
To date, Casandra has had a half-dozen surgeries, multiple skin graphs, surgeries to remove shrapnel, and scar reduction. She has at least one more surgery next year and again three years later. She deals with constant pain.
“It’s been a daily pain for me because of my wrist.”
For Casandra, every day is a reminder of the consequences of one decision years ago. It’s a tragedy she hopes will deter others this Fourth of July.
“You don’t have to feel pressured by doing something just because someone else is doing it. Just because it seems like it’s fun, you don’t need to take that risk if you’re not comfortable and that there could be a bad result in the end.”
Casandra says it’s not just the physical injuries. The Fourth of July is also emotionally traumatic for her. As for her arm, her next surgery will likely be her last and not because she doesn’t want or feel she needs more, but doctors have told her that if she removes any more scar tissue she could damage nerves or arteries and lose permanent feeling in her hand.