"We'll remember it forever": Columbia woman returns home after severe fireworks mishap


    Earlier this Summer, a Midlands woman was severely injured in a July Fourth fireworks accident. Eleven surgeries later, she's making some progress. Leah McCleskey is finally home again, but her life has been changed forever.

    Nearly two months later, memories of the mishap are still fresh. Leah's body went up in flames after a firework landed on her lap, right where her son Connor sat moments earlier. She spent two months at the Augusta Burn Center, recovering from third degree burns. Fortunately, Leah was cleared to come home just in time for Connor's fifth birthday. But, she still has a long way to go.

    "They've taken skin from the outside of my thigh and that's what's healing and covering the wounds I had. It's where all the nerve endings are. I don't think anything was more painful," said Leah.

    Her husband Jon says Leah's attitude was positive from the start, pushing herself every day to get out of bed. Leah jokes she "didn't have time for this" and there were things she didn't want to miss.

    The McCleskey family still doesn't know what went wrong but one thing is certain, that they're "done with fireworks".

    "If we were to go to a baseball game or something, maybe, where it's in a controlled professional environment. But it'll be awhile before that'll sit well," said McCleskey.

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