By Abby Broyles, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma man is recovering in the hospital from a major surgery. Doctors at OU Medical Center are working to reconstruct his face after a fireworks explosion this summer.
Taron Pounds, 22, was with his family in July in Inola, Oklahoma, just east of Tulsa, when fireworks exploded in his face, leaving him with severe injuries. But now after a successful surgery, he's on the road to recovery.
Tammy Cauthron feared the worst July 7, when her son Taron was setting off fireworks with his family, and something went terribly wrong.
"When I saw Taron he was face down on the ground on his left side, and my brother was there at his head,"Cauthron says, "there were all kinds of people around him, and he had blood just gushing out of his right ear, his face was covered."
They called 911. Pounds was sent to a Tulsa hospital by medical helicopter, and later landing at OU Medical's Level One Trauma Center.
Doctors say he lost most of the bones on the left side of the face, the roof of his mouth and teeth, splitting his jaw bone in half.
On Friday, OU Medical surgeons worked 22 hours to begin repairing Pounds' face. They took bones and tissue from his leg to reconstruct the delicate bone structure around his cheek and under his eye.
"As you can imagine, connecting the veins and arteries in the leg to the veins and arteries in the neck can not only be a pretty tricky process, but having those sutures there makes it so that clots can form there," said Trinitia Cannon with the OU Medical Center.
The surgery went well and now he's out of the ICU, giving his family hope as Pounds continues to recover.
"I know he's a much stronger man because of this," Cauthron said.
Pounds' doctors say he's using a feeding tube and a trach tube to help him breathe, but he is able to talk. They expect him to go home from the hospital in about a week.
Pounds will have another surgery in a couple months.