Aaron Moncrief, a pastor from Oak Park, Ga., was shooting fireworks at a summer youth camp in 2018 when he noticed an unexploded mortar on the ground. As he attempted to discard the tube, it erupted.
“The firework mortar misfired,” says Moncrief, “and I took a direct hit to my left eye.” The force of the blast shattered the bones in his face and ruptured his left eye. A rescue crew loaded him onto emergency air transport, which flew him to Birmingham.
Once there, ENT surgeons at UAB Medical Center worked to repair his facial fractures. Then a surgical team at the UAB Callahan Eye Hospital made an effort to repair his eye.
“It’s always worth trying to repair a ruptured eye when possible,” says Sarah Jacobs, MD., ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgeon at UAB., “even when the injuries seem devastating, because there are many traumas that the eye can potentially recover from.”
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