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Utah County boy taking first steps 1 year after firework injury



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OREM -- One year ago next month 12-year-old Bridger Hunt was seriously injured by an explosion from a neighbor's homemade firework. Today he remembers it vividly but is working hard to move on with his life and regain full use of the leg he almost lost.

Bridger has a motto: accomplish anything anyone tells him he can't. Doctors weren't sure he'd keep his leg or even survive being hit by shrapnel the explosion last July 24. Now he's looking forward to practicing guitar and hanging out with friends.

The doctors also told him he probably wouldn't walk again, but he took a dozen shaky steps before KSL 5 cameras Friday; he took his first steps last week.

"It feels like I can do anything. They give me something I can't do and I do it," Bridger said.

As optimistic and happy as Bridger seemed during our visit on Friday, things aren't perfect. He's often in pain.

"My foot, it will get shocks up it," Bridger said.

He says some friends stopped coming around after the accident. He also still faces surgeries. The next surgery will be to extend his leg.

"Do you worry about them (the surgeries) or do you let them come as they come?" we asked Bridger.

"Come as they come. I live in the now," he said.

But he does have big plans for the future, including the charity "Bridger Hunts for Miracles." It will provide medical supplies and emergency funds to families in crisis.

The family got the idea for the charity after meeting people at the hospital during Bridger's stay who didn't have money for a hotel or for food. They will launch it in connection with a party they plan to throw later this summer to thank people who prayed for and helped Bridger

"My baby, I know he'll be OK. He'll OK. It's a long road," said Bridger's mother, Mindy Carter-Shaw.

Bridger and his family credit that network of support for helping Bridger get well and back on his feet. They're asking anyone who did anything for Bridger, from donations to prayers, to e-mail them at mindyshaw33@yahoo.com so they can pass along a thank you and an invitation to the party.

E-mail: sdallof@ksl.com

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Sarah Dallof

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