Jason Pierre-Paul shares details, gruesome photos from fireworks accident
Jason Pierre-Paul has finally opened up about exactly what happened the night he mangled his hand in a fireworks accident, and the details will almost certainly send a chill up your spine.
The photos are even worse.
In an extensive interview with Jason Buckland of Sports Illustrated, Pierre-Paul described the terrifying events that took place on July 4, 2015. Like he has done every year since he was a teenager, JPP purchased a large amount of fireworks so that he could put on a display for his neighborhood to enjoy. It wasn’t until he was lighting one of the last ones that disaster struck.
Pierre-Paul recalls having trouble lighting the firework that ended up costing him much of his right hand. More from Buckland’s feature:
He attempted seven times to apply flame to fuse, to ignite a stick that would send a stream of colors rocketing into the night, but the wind kept blowing out his lighter. He remembers thinking, Let me try one more time. . .
Suddenly, success—and then an eruption, a bang and a blinding green-and-white light that, witnesses say, swallowed Pierre-Paul’s 6′ 5″, 278-pound frame. “I remember a big flash, and I heard boom!” says Farraw Germain, the mother of Pierre-Paul’s then eight-month-old son, Josiah. “There was a lot of smoke.” Pierre-Paul sensed trouble right away. “As soon as I saw the green light, I jumped,” he says. “I knew something dangerous was about to happen.”
Pierre-Paul dropped to the grass. But when he arose he smelled nothing, felt nothing. Then he heard Germain shriek in terror, “Your hand!”
He glanced down. The street had gone black again, but Pierre-Paul could make out a sight far more gruesome and shocking than anything he’d ever glimpsed on a football field. “I’m looking at my [right] hand and I’m seeing every ligament,” he recalls. “You only see this stuff in the movies.”
After that, Pierre-Paul remembers a friend rushing him to the hospital. He says he unwrapped the shirt around his hand several times to peek at the damage, and what he saw was “how the hand really is without skin on it.” Farraw Germain, the mother of Pierre-Paul’s son, was initially told by a doctor that JPP’s NFL career was “almost certainly done.”
The entire piece is worth reading. While he had several moments where he thought to himself “what have I done,” Pierre-Paul says he has no regrets.
“I have no regrets at all,” he explained. “I carry myself differently. I look at things differently. I try not to put myself in horrible situations anymore. I have a lot of people depending on me—even people I didn’t know depended on me.
“I could dwell on it, like, damn, I wish I had that finger, but when I look in the mirror, I’m happy. Thank the Lord — it could have been worse.”
Pierre-Paul also shared some photos with Buckland. If you want to go through them, you’re free to do that here. Keep in mind they are incredibly disturbing and a lot worse than the more recent photos you have probably seen.