A teenager is lucky to be alive after trying to put out an illegal firework by sticking it in his MOUTH – before blowing off the end of his finger.
Dylan Cosgrove, 15, was at home with girlfriend, Erin Easton, when he lit the banger in his bedroom as a joke.
The teen then panicked as the fuse started fizzing and put it in his mouth in an attempt to stop it burning.
But his desperate bid failed so to protect his girlfriend from the explosion he put his right hand over the top of the banger.
The unlicensed firework blew off the top of his right index finger and broke his hand in several places.
Dylan, from Washington, Tyne and Wear, had four hours of surgery to repair the damage and could be scarred for life.
He said: “I had been telling Erin I had bought some fireworks, so I got one out of the box to show her.
“I didn’t intend to set it off. I just wanted to light it and put it out for a laugh. I quickly realised the fuse wouldn’t go out and I was in a blind panic and didn’t know what to do.
“I even put it to my mouth to put it out, but I can’t remember that happening at the time.”
He added: “This was crazy when I think about what could have happened if it had exploded in my face, but I was desperate to stop it going off.
“I was frightened for Erin and I didn’t want to start a fire in my bedroom.
“I remember putting my hand over the top of the firework to try to contain the explosion and there was a huge bang.
“My ears were ringing and I could smell my burning flesh. My index finger was bent backwards and the top of one of my fingers had been blown off.
“My girlfriend was screaming. I think I was just in shock.”
The screams alerted Dylan’s dad, Michael Stephenson, 41, and it wasn’t long before his mother, Sam Cosgrove, 39, rushed home to comfort her son.
Left-handed Dylan was taken by ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Gateshead, before being transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
Dylan, who has two sisters, said his life has been made significantly harder as a result of the incident.
He said: “I went through four-and-a-half hours of surgery.
“As a result, I have metal pins in most of my fingers and two of the tendons have snapped and retracted back into my arm, which means I have lost flexibility and will have restricted movement in my right hand forever.
“Everyday life is so much harder now. I’ll have to get the pins removed from my fingers in a few weeks and Ill need to continue to have physiotherapy for some time.”