Scars show real risks after schoolboy speaks out about ordeal when firework party went wrong

Cumbernauld’s official firework displays are now a thing of the past after North Lanarkshire Council advised that it could no longer afford to pay for it and any such event would have fallen foul of Covid-19 regulations anyway as they have done in Motherwell.

By Clare Grant

Yet think twice before you try a DIY approach, a 14-year-old Cumbernauld schoolboy has warned.

And that’s because Ben McCabe learned the hard way after a freak accident with a firework at a family display in Abronhill left him undergoing operations for a decade that will continue until he is 21-years-old.

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While trying to maintain a positive outlook. Ben wants to warn others with a very personal message and has been working with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to this end for some time.

Ben, who suffered third degree burns, said: “My family followed all the safety advice and I still got injured. My scars don’t define who I am but they do have an impact on my life.

To his peers he said: “If you’re thinking about messing about with fireworks then please think again. You’re handling explosives, just because you can buy them in shops doesn’t make them safe. And don’t give into pressure from your pals, it’s not worth the risk.

"Think twice about the risks of having a home display. I’m proof that a few moments of excitement can have a lifetime of consequences.”Ben's mum Amy Amy McCabe was at working at Yorkhill Children’s Hospital when she received the call to say Ben had been injured.She said: “I can’t describe the terror that I felt. A firework had gone straight at him, burning his clothing. There was nothing left of his shirt It was a family display, all the safety rules were followed, I couldn’t believe it was happening to us. But it did happen to us. We want to share Ben’s story so other families don’t have to experience what we have.”Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Head of Prevention and Protection Deputy Assistant Chief Officer Alasdair Perry said: “I thoroughly commend Ben’s bravery for speaking out and thank Amy for her unwavering support in helping us make people aware of the dangers of fireworks.”