Oklahoma City doctors work to rebuild Tulsa man's face after fireworks accident

Taron Pounds, 22, lost most of the bones that hold and stabilize his face. Oklahoma City doctors used Pounds' left fibula and tissue from his leg to reconstruct his midface.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Published: September 24, 2012

One of the first things David Cauthron did was check his stepson's fingers.

When the mortar ball hit him, it burned a significant portion of Taron Pounds' face and arms.

Cauthron knew how important music was, how important those fingers were, to the 22-year-old jazz guitarist.

Several weeks later, Pounds is not only working to recover from the accident but also learning new instruments, including the electric violin and the cello.

“I can't imagine what our family would be like without him,” David Cauthron said at a news conference Monday. “That's not a possibility, because we are such a big family, and family is everything to us.”

This past Friday, Pounds, a Tulsa resident, underwent a 22-hour reconstructive surgery at OU Medical Center to repair extensive damage to the left side of his face.

In July, Pounds was at a family event in Inola, setting off fireworks, when something went wrong. Pounds lit the fuse of a commercial-grade mortar shell, and shortly thereafter, his family members saw a puff of smoke. It remains unclear as to how the accident happened.

When Dr. Trinitia Cannon first saw Pounds, she didn't know where exactly his nasal passages were because of the extensive damage. She and Dr. Jose Sanclement, also an otolaryngologist, have been working on Pounds' recovery for several weeks. Friday's surgery was the second stage in that recovery.

The two doctors used Pounds' left fibula and tissue from his leg to reconstruct his midface.

Pounds lost most of the bone that holds and stabilizes his midface. He also lost a substantial amount of nasal and cheek bones, the bones that support his left eye, the roof of his mouth and several teeth.


by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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