WARNING: Some photos in this story may be disturbing for some readers.
A Maple Ridge couple were victims of a horrific acid and knife attack in Vietnam, and ‘Tom’ Nghiem Vo is now facing a long recovery.
His girlfriend Tram ‘Tammy’ Nguyen explained in a Facebook post on Thursday how the two were in Vietnam on vacation, during the Lunar New Year Festival.
Last Saturday at at 7:30 p.m. they were on a motorcycle, on their way to dinner near Khe Hai Beach in the central province of Quang Ngai. They turned down a dark street, and they went past a motorcycle with two men – one sitting on it, the other leaning against it.
“About 30-40 seconds later, the same motorbike raced up beside us on the left and yelled something out we couldn’t hear properly and we both looked to our left and saw that they [had] spilled acidic water on us,” Tammy wrote.
“Tom lost control of the motorbike and we both fell off. Tom crawled about one meter away from me and I saw the guy sitting at the back coming down hold[ing] a large knife coming towards me.”
Tammy thought it was a robbery and put her hands in the air, but the attacker turned towards where Tom lay, and slashed his legs three times, before fleeing.
|The victim suffered burns on 80 per cent of his body, and attackers tried to severe tendons in his legs with a knife. (Contributed)|
“Tom has 90 per cent of his face burned, both his hands and both legs are also burned. He has a total of three cuts that have been stitched up. Not able to open his eye fully, only able to see 15-20 per cent.
“For my myself, I have minor injuries, burns on both thighs, one hand and some on the left side of my face.”
She appealed for help, and a GoFundMe page has been started to help the couple deal with the financial cost of this ordeal.
“Again I’m asking everyone for help. It may not be much but it is better than nothing,” Tammy wrote.
“Still cannot believe this all happened. I’m still thinking it’s a nightmare and wanting it all to go away. Please pray for Tim. It’s not fair to go on vacation and to have something like this happened. I personally want whoever is behind this caught.”
There are reports about the incident in Vietnam media, saying they were transferred back to Canada with a doctor and nurse, but due to the long flight time and Tom’s serious condition they temporarily landed in Singapore. It describes him as having 80 per cent of his body, including his cornea, burned by acid, and his tendons slashed.
Both are 26 years of age.
“This is so devastating and should never happen to anyone. Tammy and Tom are both very humble and hardworking people, super talented nail technicians in Port Coquitlam. This is definitely life changing for them, not for the better,” wrote their friend Cecilia Tran on the GoFundMe page.
“Currently, they are both admitted to the hospital. We don’t know how long they will be there for, but this will be a lengthy recovery process. Tammy has reached out to the Embassy of Canada and they are currently assisting them with medical needs. However, Tom is in serious condition and they cannot provide much assistance for him due to him being a permanent resident in Canada and not a Canadian citizen.”
As of Saturday, $4,000 had been raised of the $40,000 goal.
“We are in need of your help to raise money in order to cover their medical expenses. Please, please, please share their story to all your family and friends. This could happen to anyone. Let alone someone we love.”