Contributions to the trust account set up to assist the victim of a baffling acid attack two weeks ago have been trickling in since it was set up, with the balance standing at R12 000 on Sunday.
The Zimbabwean woman, who has assumed the alias Susan in order to protect her identity, had acid thrown in her face by two unknown men.
Susan was sitting in a taxi on the way home from work when the two men threw acid at her as they were exiting the taxi.
Susan’s employer Elisabeth Parker rushed to assist and set up a trust account. The refugee rights organisation Passop and Cosatu’s provincial gender office, have also appealed to the public to assist in paying for Susan’s medical expenses.
Cape Town plastic surgeon Mark van der Velde, who was on call when Susan was initially rushed to the Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital on the night she was attacked, has offered his services pro bono but said certain costs were beyond his control, such as theatre hire, dressings, medication and hospital stay. The duration of Susan’s required treatment would add up to about R500 000.
Susan suffered “full thickness” burns to her eyelids and left brow, and her left ear was completely burnt away with nothing left but cartilage. She also suffered partial thickness burns to her left cheek, deep burns to her left shoulder and burns on her hands, leg and left breast.
It would take about 25 hours of surgery over a “three- to four-year” period to reinstate her beauty, said Van der Velde.
Parker said other than contributions of money into the trust account, Susan had been offered free art therapy to help her cope with the trauma and someone had offered her a much-needed getaway in beautiful surroundings.
Parker said the fact the public had contributed R12 000 was “absolutely exciting, but we need much more”.
She said despite the pro bono work of Van der Velde and an anaesthetist, the amount did not cover the costs of emergency treatment and an initial operation Susan underwent on Tuesday last week, which Parker was paying out of her own pocket. Susan is due to go for a second operation today.
Investigating officer Det Shannon Fisher said one suspect would appear in an identity parade today and was due to make an appearance in court on Wednesday. “We are working around the clock to catch the second suspect,” said Fisher. –