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A young boy remains in the hospital after losing part of his hand when he discovered an illegal firework in Orange County.

On July 5, 10-year-old Edther Ocampo had just finished soccer practice and was walking home with his 11-year-old brother Dominic Ocampo.


They were on their way to their grandmother's house in San Juan Capistrano.

While the boys were out and about, they spotted something on the ground in an alley. They thought it was a smoke bomb and took the unknown object home with them.

However, the boys did not know that the object was actually an unexploded illegal firework.

At home they lit the firecracker and within a few seconds it exploded while Edther was still holding it in her hand.

Edther Ocampo, 10, is pictured with his brother Dominic Ocampo, 11. (Ocampo family)
The alley where the Ocampo brothers found an illegal firework lying on the ground on July 5, 2024. (KTLA)
Edther Ocampo is pictured with his brother Dominic Ocampo and their mother Cynthia Garcia-Huertas. (Ocampo family)
Edther Ocampo, 10, remains in intensive care after finding illegal fireworks on the ground in San Juan Capistrano on July 5, 2024. (Ocampo family)
Edther Ocampo, 10, is pictured with his brother Dominic Ocampo, 11. (Ocampo family)
Edther Ocampo, 10, remains in intensive care after finding illegal fireworks on the ground on July 5, 2024. (Ocampo family)

Edther suffered serious injuries as a result of the explosion. He lost three fingers and part of his hand and suffered severe burns, cuts to his face and internal injuries to his abdomen.

“Some of his organs were damaged,” said Cynthia Garcia-Huertas, the boys' mother. “From the impact in his stomach.”

Esther was taken to the intensive care unit at UC Irvine Medical Center, where he remains hospitalized. His brother Dominic also suffered burns, cuts and bruises, but his injuries were less severe and did not require hospitalization.

The boys' family is grateful that Edther is alive and believes that whoever placed the illegal fireworks on a public street acted recklessly.

Esther has a long road to recovery ahead of her, which includes rehabilitation and possibly the fitting of a prosthesis.

The boys' father is a painter and their mother, who worked as a doctor's assistant, gave up her job to care for Edther full-time.

His family is relieved that Edther is alive and is doing their best to help him recover so that he can get back to doing what he loves most – playing football.

“I will show him my love and support in the best way I can, and that is simply by being there for him,” Garcia-Huertas said.

A GoFundMe campaign to assist the family with medical expenses can be found here.

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