A couple from British Columbia, Canada were the victims of an acid attack that has left one of them hospitalized with life-changing burns and multiple stab wounds.
Tram (Tammy) Nguyen and her boyfriend Nghiêm (Tom) Võ were in Quang Mai, Vietnam (just east of Ho Chi Minh City) celebrating the Lunar New Year when the apparently random attack occurred.
On Feb. 9 at around 7:30 p.m., the couple were travelling by motorbike on their way to dinner when they turned onto a road with no street lights, Nguyen wrote in a Facebook post.
After passing by two men loitering around a parked motorbike on the side of the road, Nguyen recalled that the same bike raced to pull up beside them several moments later.
“About 30-40 secs 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 have spilled acidic water on us. Tom lost control of the motorbike and we both fell off,” she wrote.
One of the men then took out a knife and proceeded to slash at Võ legs.
“I saw the guy sitting at the back coming down hold a large knife coming towards me and in my head i thought to myself ‘oh no it’s robbery’ so I held both my hands in the air. But he turned towards Tom’s direction, pushing Tom down and just went straight for his legs. With total a total of 3 cuts. 2 on his right leg, 1 on his left.”
Nguyen said that 90% of Võ’s face was burned in the attack, leaving him unable to fully open his eyes and with only about 15-20% vision. Both pairs of arms and legs were also burned, on top of three cuts to his leg that have since been stitched up.
Nguyen herself escaped with only minor burns on both thighs, one hand, and the left side of her face.
Local media reported that the two had been flown to Thailand for temporary treatment before returning to Canada, according to Global News.
“Again I’m asking for everyone help,” Nguyen wrote. “It may not be much but it is better than nothing. Still cannot believe this all happened. I’m still thinking it’s a nightmare and wanting it to all go away. Please pray for Tom. It’s not fair to go on vacation and to have something like this happened. I personally want whoever is behind this will be caught.”
A GoFundMe account was set up by Nguyen’s close friend, Cecilia Tran, who noted that medical expenses would be expensive given Võ’s status as a Canadian permanent resident and not a citizen.
“This is so devastating and should never happen to anyone,” Tran wrote. “Tammy and Tom are both very humble and hardworking people, super talented nail technicians in Port Coquitlam, BC. This is definitely life changing for them, not for the better.
“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.”