The last time Oklahoma City resident Rebecka Rich celebrated the Fourth of July was two years ago.
“We had a cookout let the kids play and have our normal Roman Candle fight,” she said.
The fight was anything but normal, Rebecka was just a bystander on the receiving end of a Roman candle.
“All I could see was the brightest light you can think of,” she recalled.
A Roman candle hit her in the right eye, damaging much of her eyelid and cornea.
OU staff estimates more than 11,000 injuries each year are caused by fireworks.
Dean McGee Institute president, Dr. Greg Skuta said, “She's had her eye sutured shut for the past two years to help speed up the healing process.”
But while she heals physically, the emotional and mental scars are still there.
Rebecka explained, “I didn’t want to go out in public and have people state at me and ask me questions. I didn’t want to go to my son’s school and him get made fun of because mommy played with Roman candles.
Medical professionals said accidents like Rebecka's can be easily prevented.
“Any spectators at a non-professional fireworks display should be watching safety glasses of some sort,” said Dr. Rhea Siatowski.
Rebecka said the accident has taught her to be grateful for the vision she does have.