It’s the time of year when fireworks and sparklers take center stage, a fact that Jason Paul-Pierre knows all too well. One year ago, NY Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul severely damaged his right hand and lost his right index finger after a firework went off in his hand. This Fourth of July not only is he staying away from fireworks as he heads out of the country, but he is also starring in a public service announcement in an effort to keep others from making the same mistake.
The PSA, which includes a re-enactment of the accident, as well as pictures of his mangled hand, bandaged hand, and Pierre-Paul with his young son, has two important messages. First, keep children away from fireworks. Second, leave fireworks “to the fireworks professionals.”
During the PSA, Pierre-Paul takes the time to remember what was going through his mind immediately after the accident as he was taken to the hospital. He talks candidly about his then-newborn son, who was as the forefront of his mind throughout the entire ordeal.
Over the last year, Pierre-Paul has been very upfront about the accident and the resulting challenges. His coaches and teammates refer to him as a changed man.
The PSA, which debuted on Thursday’s episode of “Good Morning America,” was released just as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that 70 percent of firework injuries take place within 30 days of the Fourth of July holiday. In 2015 alone, there were 11 deaths and approximately 12,000 injuries that required emergency treatment.