Nurse shares how she lost sight in one eye from July 4th fireworks

Safety goggles are recommended, even when just watching an amateur fireworks display

Amy White nurse fireworks accident
St. David's South nurse Amy White's left eye had to be removed after a fireworks accident in 2002. (Courtesy/Amy White)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A nurse at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center is sharing the worst experience of her life, in hopes of saving others from making the same mistake this Fourth of July.

As a freshman in high school, Amy White lost sight in her left eye after fireworks hit her. Fifteen years later, she’s able to point out what she likely could have done to prevent the traumatic injury.

“Unsupervised, without eye protection, without any form of protection, playing with fireworks is a very dangerous situation in itself,” she said.

White says a group of high schoolers was lighting fireworks for the Fourth of July without any adult supervision. She was only watching, but believes something was lit wrong or knocked over. She recalls seeing the fireworks coming toward her right before it hit her eye.

Amy White after she lost an eye in high school due to fireworks (Courtesy/Amy White)
Amy White after she lost an eye in high school due to fireworks (Courtesy/Amy White)

“Nobody could hear me,” she said. “The fireworks were still going off, it was really dark outside and it took, well it felt like an eternity, but it was probably only a couple minutes and finally people started turning around and hearing me screaming, and at that point, everybody was running over and hurried me into a vehicle, rushed me to the ER, and then they life flighted me out within the hour because I was losing so much blood.”

White underwent months of surgeries, but never regained sight in her left eye. Today, she wears a special prosthetic painted to match her right eye.

As a nurse, she sees her hospital fill up every July Fourth with holiday-related injuries. She warns that taking simple precautions like wearing safety goggles and never leaving kids or teens unattended while using fireworks can be lifesaving.

“Just be smart before you think that it’s just everybody having fun,” she said.

Amy White nurse fireworks accident
St. David’s South nurse Amy White’s left eye had to be removed after a fireworks accident in 2002. (Courtesy/Amy White)

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