FOR teenager Michael Boggan it's been a hard realisation coming to terms with what's left of his hands - just a pinkie on his left-hand, which he cannot move, and three fingers and a thumb on his right.
"The day I stormed out I didn't even say I love you mum and I could have died that day," Michael said.
But through hardship comes hope and determination.
"I'm looking forward to doing everything again," he said. "I'm looking forward to riding my scooter. Once I get my prosthetics, the first thing I'll be doing is buying a helmet, elbow and knee pads and ride my scooter again."
But adjusting to everyday life hasn't been easy. "It's hard to do the things I used to do a lot like playing my Xbox," he said.
Simple things like holding a fork has been a challenge, but a bit of rubber tubing around the handle has enabled him to feed himself.
Michael, who has Asperger's syndrome, has never read a novel until now.
He is finding inspiration through a book given to him about Australian Nick Vujicic, who was born with no arms or legs.
"He gets upset and says my life's over, but we keep reminding him that a year down the track he will have prosthetics," Mr Clifton said.
The rehabilitation has been gruelling and involved multiple skin grafts from his legs, some more than 20cm long, and metal pins to piece together his hands again. The family must travel to Brisbane every few days for ongoing treatment.
"He can't move his ring finger - that's the one they had to re-attach after they found it in the garden," Mrs Boggan said.
"We still don't know what will happen with his left hand because he can't move his pinkie. He gets depressed when we re-dress his left hand."
While Michael can't recall what happened that day, horrific scars of the event are a constant reminder for the teen with shrapnel wounds dotted over his legs and chest.
"His ribs were the only thing stopping ball bearing shrapnel from potentially killing him," Mr Clifton said.
Shaken by the incident some of Michael's friends started the Leichhardt Teen Organisation, based at Leichhardt Community Centre, to clean up the streets and provide an outlet for kids.
"When I saw them (his friends) for the first time, the faces they were making...they were very sad - a few of them were crying," Michael said.
While Michael won't be able to write for some time, word came yesterday a South Australian school raised money to buy him an iPad to help him with school work.
"My faith in humanity has been restored," Mrs Boggan said. "We can't believe the response, it's been amazing."
An appeal launched by Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale raised more than $70,000 for the teen.
"We received an outpour of prayers, messages and support," Mrs Boggan said. "A little girl even sent him her pocket money and card - just little things like that."
Inspector Keith McDonald said no one had yet been charged over the incident.
"Investigations are proceeding and we are trawling through a large amount of internet data and clarifying inconsistencies in statements," he said.
The Boggan family have one wish - to move to the Springfield area and "live in peace".
If you can help the family find a three bedroom home for $275-$280 a week, please email email@example.com.
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