WARNING – GRAPHIC CONTENT: The parents of a five-year-old who was set alight by a firework that fell down her jacket have released pictures of her horrific injuries to warn others of the dangers.
Rosie Mason was enjoying a home fireworks display in Wales on Guy Fawkes night in November last year with her parents Ellie, 29, James, 30, and brother Christian, 7, when tragedy struck.
A multi-shot firework went off at an angle and hit Rosie’s neck, causing it to then fall down her jacket and set her coat alight.
After being rushed to hospital, Rosie, from Cwmbran in Wales, spent five weeks recovering and had to have a skin graft from her scalp to heal the burnt patch on her neck.
Now, ahead of the annual Guy Fawke firework festivities on November 5, Ellie is issuing a warning to other parents to keep their children inside to watch the displays to avoid casualties.
“We only went to a friends house to watch some fireworks but it ended up being a disaster,” Ellie, a self-employed therapist, said.
‘My daughter was battling horrific burns’
“We lit a multi-shot firework and it went off at an angle rather than straight up and banged behind my son.
“I looked round to check he was ok, and he was fine, but then I heard my daughter shouting ‘ouch’ and the firework had flared off into her.
“As soon as it hit her she tucked her neck in and trapped the firework, which caused her coat to set on fire.
“The next thing I knew we were on our way to hospital and my daughter was battling horrific burns.”
As soon as the fire hit Rosie, her family started patting out the fire on her coat to decrease the amount of burns she would suffer from.
Advised by a paramedic, they then proceeded to give Rosie a cold bath while they waited for an ambulance to arrive.
“Once the paramedic arrived they rushed us to our local hospital, Royal Gwent, where we were told we had to go to the burns unit at Morriston Hospital in Swansea,” Mrs Mason said.
“When we got there she had a surgical scrub, which got rid of all of the burnt skin, and she was bandaged up.
“But because she suffered from full-thickness burns to her neck, just 14 days later she had a skin graft which moved skin from her scalp to her neck.
“For this they had to shave parts of her head and suddenly she was covered in bandages from the neck upwards, which was one of the most shocking parts.”
Despite having her surgery last year, Rosie is due to have another procedure done to help the skin on her neck move more freely.
“When she had the initial skin graft it was very tight on her neck to help it heal, but it’s caused her neck to be very stiff,” her mother added.
“Every time she looks up she can feel the skin pulling so they are going to give her an operation to release the tension in her neck so she’s more comfortable.
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“Luckily her hair has grown back from her last surgery, and we’re only having to go for check-ups every three months now, unlike the weekly visits we used to have.
“Despite how much she has gone through, Rosie has taken it all in her stride and been such an inspiration.
“But still she, or any of our family, would never want this to happen to anyone else – which is why we want to encourage people to enjoy the fireworks, but from a safe place.”
Ellie and her family are now raising money for the Children’s Burn Trust to thank them for all of their help.