FRANTIC parents Lyn and Doug Field feared they had lost their son Tori as he lay bleeding profusely with a 10cm piece of shrapnel embedded in his jaw.
Seconds earlier, Mrs and Mr Field watched as Tori, 15, and a mate let off a home-made Roman Candle.
Things went horribly wrong as the metal container exploded and one piece headed straight for Tori.
It smashed through his right hand, ripping off his fingers, before blasting into his jaw.
Mrs Field, a nurse, fought through her shock as she tried desperately to stem her youngest son’s blood loss.
“I thought I’d lost him on the veranda at one stage,” Mrs Field said.
“I couldn’t get a pulse and he’d lost so much blood. It was just a horror. He lost probably two litres of blood and he was going into shock.”
Mr Field said he and his wife used 18 towels trying to stop the blood flow.
“He was white and had no pulse,” Mr Field said.
Mrs Field said the night of August 27 started normally. Tori had invited a mate from West Moreton Anglican College to stay over before playing soccer the next morning.
Mrs Field was too busy making dinner to buy some sparklers the boys wanted but Mr Field drove them to a shop after he got home.
“What they do is scrape the stuff off the sparklers and put it in a container. They light it and the sparkler shoots up,” Mrs Field said. “About 9pm they went outside and I said: ‘Hang on, we’re coming out with you.’ Doug was in bed crook but he came out too.
“There’s a stump between the house and the shed and they put the candle on that. “I’d said a few times, ‘Are you sure that thing’s safe?’ because I hate any of it but they’re teenage boys, they’re adventurous.”
She said everyone got back 15 to 20m with Tori videoing the action on his mobile phone.
As he held the phone in front of his face a 10cm long, 5cm wide and 3mm thick piece of the container hurtled into his hand and face.
“We’d turned to come in but we heard this almighty explosive noise I said to Doug: ‘What was that?’ and at that stage Tori came staggering out from behind a tree,” Mrs Field said.
“Half his face and jaw was hanging off and his mate was screaming and was just hysterical.
“We got Tori on the veranda and started doing first aid and Doug called the ambulance.
Tori has been in Princess Alexandra Hospital’s intensive care unit, high dependency ward and facial unit.
“He’s had a titanium plate in his jaw; that was fractured in five places, his facial nerves have been damaged and he’s lost a lot of teeth – at least 12. It will be six to 12 months before we know what other treatment he’ll need,” Mrs Field said.
“He’s alive; that’s all that matters to us. He’s a positive kid. He wants to get back to his mates and school. “It’s been two weeks and I’ve just been in a trance. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. You feel like you’re heart’s been ripped out.
“We’re responsible parents and look what can happen in a few seconds. You don’t think of sparklers being a danger.”
Mr Field said he would like to see sparklers banned.
“They’ve done it before but they’ve done it in an open container. This one had a small hole in it and when the flare went off it welded the hole shut and then the gases inside exploded the container,” Mr Field said.
Mrs Field said she wanted Tori’s doctors to let him out of hospital so she could treat him at home.
Meanwhile, she and her husband are struggling financially because neither was able to work.
WestMAC interim principal Steve Paul said yesterday the school had a free clothes day and Tori’s classmates had a sausage sizzle to raise money.
“He’s part of the WestMAC family,” Mr Paul said.
“I’ve spoken to the students about doing risky things but we’re not going to judge him, we’re going to support him.”
West Moreton Anglican College Tori Field Appeal. Bank account details: BSB 034189. Account number: 308 791. People can also call the main switch at WestMAC on 3813 4555.
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