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Jacksonville father goes blind after fireworks explosion

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A man lost his sight after fireworks exploded in his face. (CNN Newsource / WFOX)

A man lost his sight after fireworks exploded in his face. His greatest concern now is if he will ever have the chance to see his children again.

CNN affiliate WFOX reports that James Crook was lighting fireworks on July 4. He had just lit a firework with a grill lighter, but wasn't sure if the fuse had lit.

WFOX says Crook bent over the firework to check the fuse when it exploded in his face.

"He opened his eyes, and they were just black," said Crook's fiancee, Jenn Walker.

"I remember having a towel around my face and me telling our friends that I couldn't see," Crook said.

Crook told WFOX that doctors say his only hope to regain partial sight in his left eye is with a cornea transplant.

"My right eye is extensively worse, much worse," Crook said. "They're talking probably a prosthetic cornea, if that even works."

Now, Crook is sharing a message for others wanting to set off fireworks in the future.

"Wear safety glasses," Crook said. "Had I had safety glasses on, I probably wouldn't be in this position right now."

Crook tells WFOX that he hopes to have some of his vision back soon, specifically when his infant son begins to walk.

"It's going to be past his first birthday," Walker said. "These are all things that he can possibly miss and not really get to enjoy."

Crook told reporters he doesn't have health insurance. He and his fiancee have set up a GoFundMe page to help cover his medical expenses.


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