NewsMontana and Regional News


After childhood fireworks accident, Bozeman teen faces more surgery

In 2013, Mordechi Fronek was severely injured in a fireworks accident
Posted at 9:32 AM, Apr 15, 2024

BOZEMAN — In 2013, Mordachi Fronek was severely injured in a fireworks accident. He was five years old at the time.

Nearly 11 years later, Mordachi is a student at Bozeman High School and says he’s still feeling the effects of the accident. We’re hearing his story and why he’s reaching out to the community for help.

"I think we did one or two, and everything was fine," says Mordachi's mother Rebecca, recalling the accident.

It was the Fourth of July, and Mordachi had just turned five.

"And then the third one, my husband lit it and dropped it in the tube, and the tube broke off from the base. It spun around like spin the bottle and it shot right at us," Rebecca says.

The rogue firework chased young Mordachi before flying up his shirt and exploding.

Rebecca says, "All they could do here was give him an I.V. and make him comfortable."

"Yeah, there’s not really any burn clinics in Montana," adds Mordachi.

After being life-flighted to Salt Lake City at that time, Mordachi has spent the last 11 years undergoing treatment and physical therapy in and out of Montana.

He is currently a freshman at Bozeman High where he plays in the marching band and engineers robotics projects.

But as Mordachi has aged, he’s outgrown the skin grafts used to repair his burns, requiring a new operation that could restore movement to his arms.

"When you’re marching, if you’re doing a slide, you’re moving forward but your body is facing a different direction. So, like it can be hard to turn certain ways," he says. "I can straighten this arm mostly, but then this arm is not straight."

Rebecca says, "It just doesn’t grow like other normal skin."

After being told by doctors that new adjustments on the skin may require more procedures over time, the family did what they could to delay surgery.

"So, we wanted to avoid that. To not be in and out of the hospital and just let him have a childhood," says Rebecca.

Now, the necessity for surgery has finally come and after Mordachi’s father suddenly passed away in 2020, the family is asking the community for help to pay for costs associated with the surgery.

And even though the thought of more surgeries is daunting, Mordachi hasn’t let the challenges of his past determine his future.

"Keeping going. Like, there’s always going to be roadblocks and things that stop you, but you have to keep going," he says.

You can learn more about Mordachi's struggle and how to help at the family's GoFundMe page.