Friday, May 31, 2013
7 News Features: Facing the Future
A teenager survives a horrifying accident while riding a personal watercraft. He broke almost every bone in his face. 7's Mike Marza shows us how this young man is Facing the Future.
WSVN -- Fifteen-year-old Daniel Price's face is scarred and his mouth is partially wired shut, making speech difficult, the result of an accident on what was supposed to be a fun-filled day in St. Maarten.
Daniel Price: "It knocked me off the jet ski. I knew I was hurt, because I seen blood going down my stomach."
When Daniel went on a cruise with his family, all he wanted to do was ride a personal watercraft.
Daniel Price: "I wanted to have fun. You never think you'd get hurt."
His family even made sure daniel was ready for his first ride.
Dena Leis, Daniel's legal guardian: "I made him take a watercraft safety course. It made me feel better."
But the class couldn't prepare him for the inexperience of others on the water. While Daniel was stopped on his watercraft, a young girl on another one lost control, went airborne, and the watercraft slammed right into Daniel's face.
Daniel Price: "Horrible. I've been hit hard in football where I've wanted to just quit. But the jet ski was ten times as hard as me being hit in football."
Dena Leis: "His face immediately swelled up to where it didn't even look like him at all. At that point, I was just worrying about him making it."
Dena rushed the teenager to the hospital.
Dena Leis: "For them to say, 'We don't have the facilities to take care of his injuries.'"
Twenty-four hours later, Daniel was airlifted to Miami Children's Hospital, where a team of doctors started working on him. Amazingly, Daniel didn't have any major injuries to his body, but his young face was in bad shape.
Dr. Arthur Desrosiers, MD: "Daniel broke every bone in the mid face, so if he had not been reconstructed, he would have been disfigured."
This 3D image shows the numerous breaks and fractures.
Dr. Arthur Desrosiers: "He broke the jaw in multiple pieces. He broke it up all the way to the eyeball sockets. Both of the floors of the eyeballs were broken. He broke every bone in the nose."
Daniel Price: "I went to the restroom and there was a mirror in there and I seen it. Oh my God."
Daniel is one of many who end up in South Florida hospitals with personal watercraft injuries. You may remember back in 2011, singer Sean Kingston was nearly killed when he slammed into a bridge on Miami Beach.
Dr. Arthur Desrosiers: "We see dozens of patients a year. I think it's important that kids realize you can also lose a limb and possibly lose your life."
Twelve hours of surgery left Daniel with titanium plates holding his face in place.
Dr. Arthur Desrosiers: "I think he's pretty close to how he looked before."
The teen is now ready to face his future, but says he's not sure he will ever be ready to risk his life for another thrill ride.
Daniel Price: "Make sure you think twice, because I wouldn't want to see anyone else go through what I did."
Daniel is still in the early stages of recovery and he may need another surgery.