Mum calls for tighter controls on fireworks

The mum of a Burnley schoolboy has called for tighter controls on fireworks one year on from a tragic Bonfire Night accident which left her son blind.

Wednesday, 25th October 2017, 10:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 1:11 pm
Tyler Norris-Sayers, who has undergone the first of a series of operations after he was hit in the face with a firework one year ago, with his mum, Nicola.

Tyler Norris-Sayers (11) lost sight in his right eye when a firework shot into the crowd of spectators and hit him in the face at the display at Rosegrove Railway Club in Burnley.

As the anniversary of the tragedy approaches, Tyler's mum, Nicola Sayers would like to see tighter regulations on the use and sale of fireworks.

She said: "I don't want to say ban fireworks completely but I would like to see stricter regulations and laws in place to stop this from happening again.

Tyler with his mum, Nicola and his best friend, Kellen Gerard.

"After what happened to Tyler people must realise they are dealing with explosives that can hurt and injure people in the most devastating way.

"I know that some shops are selling fireworks to children when it is illegal to sell them to anyone under the age of 18.

"They may aswell be selling them a hand grenade."

In the UK it is not a legal requirement to have any kind of licence or training to buy fireworks and there are no regulations around staging a display, just a series of health and safety guidelines for people to follow.

Tyler with his mum, Nicola and his best friend, Kellen Gerard.

Nicola would like to see strict laws that are in place in New Zealand, where she lived for a couple of years after Tyler was born, introduced in the UK.

Fireworks are only sold for three days up to the November 5th and a valid ID is required to buy them.

Nicola, who lives in Rosegrove, said: "You cannot even let fireworks off in your own back garden without the fire authority coming to view your premises and give you permission.

"To me that would make so much sense to have rules and regulations like that in place here."

Tyler is recovering at home after undergoing the first of a series of operations on his eye at one of the country's top hospitals that specialises in reconstructive and stem cell surgery.

But specialists at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, West Sussex, have warned Nicola her son faces a long road to recovery with up to six years of operations.

Two years of surgery alone is required to re-build his eye structure before doctors can attempt the stem cell and cornea reconstruction which they hope may restore his sight.

The 570 mile round trip to East Grinstead is taking its toll, financially and emotionally, on Nicola but she is grateful that her son is getting the best treatment possible on the NHS.

Nicola, who works for Burnley based A to Z Canopies, said: "The staff at the hospital have been fantastic with us.

"It is a pioneering hospital that was set up after World War Two for soldiers with facial and eye injuries.

"I just wish we lived nearer. It takes seven hours and four different trains to get there as it is in the middle of nowhere and the cost is mounting up."

Nicola has also praised and thanked teachers and staff at Burnley High School for their support since Tyler started there in September.

She said: "The teachers have been great offering us help and extra support so that Tyler does not fall behind with his work because of the time he will need off school."

At the moment the lively youngster is confined indoors as doctors have said he needs to rest after his operation.

This means he cannot play out with his best friend Kellen Gerard, go to his beloved Ju Jitsu or even do PE at school.

But Tyler is happy to play on a brand new Playstation Four a colleague of Nicola's gave him to keep him occupied.

Nicola added: "The support and kindness we have received from people has been amazing and it has kept me going at times.

"Tyler is great little lad, he takes it all in his stride, like he always has done, so I do the worrying for both of us."