EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Almost a year after mangling his right hand in a fireworks accident, Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has made a public service announcement about keeping children away from fireworks, and warning everyone to handle the pyrotechnic devices with care.
The announcement was unveiled Thursday at a fireworks safety event in Washington by U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Elliot F. Kaye.
Pierre-Paul lost an index finger and part of his thumb, and was required to have reconstructive surgery to save his middle finger, when a device exploded in his hand on July 4. The two-time Pro Bowler missed half of last season because of the injury, and he struggled using the hand when he returned because he wore a boxing-like glove playing. It limited his ability to grab opponents.
In the public service announcement, there is a re-enactment of Pierre-Paul's accident. He tells Kaye that he lit a device and it blew up almost immediately. It is followed by a picture of his severely damaged hand, another of him in the hospital with his hand bandaged and one of the football player and his young son.
CBS2's Steve Overmyer reported the PSA even includes GoPro video of Pierre-Paul the night of the accident.
"On the Fourth of July, I lit up a firework and I thought I could throw it away in time, and in a split second it blew up my whole hand right there," Pierre-Paul said.
Pierre-Paul discusses the accident with Kaye and admits he is lucky to be alive.
"On the way to the hospital, all I could think about was my son and if I was gonna make it," he said in the PSA.
Pierre-Paul said he will "never be back to normal" as even the simple task of pulling up his socks has become laborious.
"I will never be back to normal, but I'm doing everything they're asking me to do," he said. "I've found ways around it."
Their 45-second message to the public is to practice fireworks safety by keeping children away from fireworks, leaving fireworks use to professionals and practicing caution with consumer fireworks.
The announcement was released days before Independence Day because the consumer product safety commission said that 70 percent of all injuries with fireworks occur during the 30 days surrounding the holiday. There were 11 deaths and nearly 12,000 injuries treated in emergency rooms from fireworks in 2015 — the highest number in 15 years, according to the commission.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
for more features.