Posted: Jul 6, 2012 4:58 PM by Laura Wilson - KAJ News
Updated: Jul 9, 2012 8:41 AM
HUNGRY HORSE - A 10-year-old Kalispell boy injured by a fireworks blast appears to be improving. Caleb Kingery was airlifted to a Spokane hospital early Thursday morning after watching fireworks in Hungry Horse the night before.
The blast broke both of Caleb's orbital bones, as well as his nasal cavities and other bones in his face. It also left a large dent and burn mark on his forehead and bruised one of his retinas. His mother believes his glasses provided just enough protection to keep him from being blinded.
At one point, the blast left the 10-year-old unresponsive.
Caleb's mother, Monica Kingery, was in Hungry Horse with her father and Caleb to watch people set off fireworks along Highway 2.
Kingery said she sat near the edge of town to keep Caleb at what she thought was a safe distance from the action.
She remembers hearing a loud noise and looking over to see Caleb crouched over, yelling that he was in pain and couldn't see.
"I just keep replaying my son being hit in the face, shot in the face with explosives," Kingery said.
She said she wants people to realize Caleb wasn't playing with fireworks, but he was a bystander.
"I'm being told that it definitely was a sparkler bomb. I'm not sure if it was a sparkler or it kicked up a rock that hit him in the face. All I know is something hit him really hard," shes aid.
Caleb was transported to North Valley Hospital, where his condition worsened, and then airlifted to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.
Kingery is grateful for North Valley's care. "I know that by going there immediately and getting the care that he needed, it probably saved him because he was unresponsive and vomiting blood and not doing so well," she said.
But Caleb's condition, which a Sacred Heart rep says is now "satisfactory," has only improved since reaching Spokane, Kingery said.
"Last night when they had woken him up out of sedation, they told him I was holding his hand. He worked really hard to open one eye and look at me and he kept squeezing my hand over and over," she said. "Somehow they were able to get him back to feeling better. He basically turned around completely in one day."
Caleb still has a lot of swelling in his face, and doctors will not operate on him until it goes down, likely sometime next week.