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    A young bloke has suffered life-changing injuries after a firework exploded in his face during a family Bonfire Night display.

    Connor McKenna-West and his fiance Carl had organised a firework show for 25 close family and friends at their home in Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire. Tragedy struck when 25-year-old Connor tried to light the fuse of a rocket, which instead of soaring into the sky, exploded in his face.

    He was rushed to James Cook University Hospital with a shattered right eye and shrapnel wounds to his face.

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    Despite a four-hour surgery, doctors were unable to save Connor's right eye, which had been pierced by shrapnel from the rocket. The couple, who bought the fireworks from a "legitimate retailer", are now worried that they may have been faulty.

    He said: "They weren't under the counter fireworks, they were legitimate fireworks, but I've went to light the rocket off and I don't even know whether the fuse lit or not, but the rocket has literally blown up in my face."

    "It hadn't even taken off to go into the air, it's instantly exploded in my face. I've had a big piece of the rocket gone through the right hand side of my eyelid and its gone all the way through, shattered my eyeball and I had to have the eye removed in surgery."

    Connor said doctors showed him images of how his eye looked before they operated on him and said the eyeball looked like "a deflated football".

    They explained to him that if the shrapnel had been lodged any further into his head it could have caused permanent brain damage, but he is determined to remain positive.

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    Connor stated: "I'm just trying to be positive about it, because there's no point dwelling on it because I think it is what it is. No matter what I think in my own head it's not going to change it. I think my family and my friends are more traumatised than me to be honest."

    Surgeons have fitted a prosthetic ball in his eye socket to retain its shape during recovery and in a few months he will be fitted for a prosthetic eye.

    Despite the traumatic incident, his family have rallied around to show their support, with Carl's mum, Kath Jennison even launching a GoFundMe page to help the pair manage while they are unable to work.

    Kath shared: "He had his full life ahead of him and his right eye has fully shattered and had to undergo surgery for it to be removed. The surgery has went well and will be on the mend for a prosthetic eye in the next few months."

    * This article was crafted with the help of an AI tool, which speeds up Daily Star's editorial research. An editor reviewed this content before it was published. You can report any errors to [email protected]

    • Bonfire Night
    • Family

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