LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — This Fourth of July. 14-year-old Erika Gonzalez won’t be out enjoying a fireworks show or screaming with friends over a sparkler.

Erika dreads the popular summer holiday because two years ago, she lost her right eye after being struck by some sort of firework.

“It burned and hurt a lot,” Erika said, while visiting Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where she underwent surgery on her right eye.

Erika, who begins high school this year, returned to the hospital Wednesday to remind people they should be careful around fireworks. Dr. Thomas Lee was her surgeon.

“The damage done to her was one of the worst things that I have seen. The firecracker went into the eye and lodged itself between the eye and the eyelid, so it was trapped in her eye socket,” Dr. Lee said.

Erika said she has no plans to celebrate the Fourth of July.


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