02:25 AM

Toddler's trauma compels Wichita mom to speak out on fireworks danger

Zsa Zsa Montgomery had just finished changing her baby's diaper on July 4 when family members ran into the house, screaming that her daughter Reylee had been hurt by a firework.

"I was like, ‘What, did she get burned? Is her arm burned, or her leg?'" the Wichita mother recalls.

When Montgomery stepped outside, she realized it was much worse.

Two-year-old Reylee, who had been sitting in a chair several yards from where family members were lighting fireworks, had been struck in the left eye by an artillery shell and the tube use to launch it. The device knocked Reylee out of the chair, fractured her skull, destroyed her eye, shattered the eye socket, broke her nose and caused bleeding in her brain.

Family members rushed the girl to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita. The next day, she was airlifted to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo.

Reylee spent her third birthday at Children's Mercy, still under sedation while recovering from surgery. Had the firework hit just an inch or two to the right, doctors told her mother, the girl likely would have died.

Read more via Wichita Eagle