MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (WATE) — On July 3 Josh Beal, his wife Suzanne Beal and their family were having an early 4th celebration, but soon everything changed.
“The next thing I remember is the loudest boom I’ve ever heard in my life. Like it literally shook the glass, it shook the chairs, like it wasn’t normal,” Suzanne said.
That explosion was a firework that Josh said seemed to be faulty. He lit the firework and walked away, and for minutes, nothing happened. That’s when he said he went to check on it, decided to light it again and it instantly exploded, leaving him with no time to get away.
“It got my hand, it got my ear, it got my forehead, I couldn’t hear anything, it was just a big loud flash and that’s honestly all I remember. Then I just walked over to here and said, ‘hey honey I think I blew my hand off.'”
Suzanne was shocked at what she saw once her husband approached her.
“It just took the whole top part of his hand. You could see bone, you could see tendon, just everything. It didn’t look like he had fingers,” she said.
Now Josh is sharing a safety tip that’s even more important to him now — leave fireworks to professionals.
“Everything you do in life is a risk, but when you’re literally playing with fire and explosives, the risk is high,” Josh said. “I don’t care if you’re 15 or 105, it can happen to you.”
It’s a powerful message from someone who said he feels lucky to be alive.
“If people don’t believe in God, they need to, because I’m proven—he’s real, I should be dead right now,” Josh said.
Josh had just gotten married to Suzanne three weeks before the incident and was in the process of switching his health insurance, so he was not covered when it happened. Now the community is coming together to host fundraising events for his medical expenses. There will be a benefit dinner on Saturday, July 23 at 5:00 p.m. at Tuckahoe Baptist Church in Knoxville. There is also a GoFundMe to help with his bills.