This brave teacher has returned to the classroom after recovering from a horrific acid attack by her ex-husband in which she lost an ear and had her face completely burnt.
Teacher Dang Thi Thanh Huyen, 35, suffered the attack in the Gia Lam District of the Vietnamese capital Hanoi in March 2018 during a fight with her ex-husband.
The pair had divorced in 2017 but agreed to live together for the sake of their daughter who is still a young child.
During the fight, her ex, named in reports as Pham Van Thong, reportedly threw acid over her in front of their daughter Nhim and Dang’s father.
Huyen says she then felt her “body shrinking like a plastic bag on fire” and warned her daughter not to touch her as she suspected she had been doused in acid.
The English teacher spent five days in a coma at the National Institute of Burns with doctors fearing for her life. When she woke up, she was covered in bandages and had to remain in bed for four months, where she was dependent entirely on her parents’ help.
When she cried, the tears stung her face, and she said she considered suicide, but did not have the “energy to kill myself”.
She had to wait five months to see her daughter, who is around 9 years old, again, and when she did, the girl did not recognise her own mother.
Huyen underwent surgery on her skull and skins grafts which aided her recovery along with painkillers to help as her “skin was stretched like a rope about to break”.
Her parents removed all the mirrors from the walls in their house to stop her falling into depression and in 2018 she was taken to the Centre for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the National Institute of Burns.
She underwent 28 operations and her face recovered by 80 percent.
The centre’s director, Dr. Vu Quang Vinh, said: “Of all the cases I have worked on, Huyen was one of the most serious, but I never saw her complain or be pessimistic.”
Vinh said Huyen encouraged one suicidal patient to survive by empowering her and Huyen even taught one of the nurses’ children twice a week.
After being discharged earlier this year Huyen decided that she wanted to return to work despite being told to prepare for more reconstructive surgery.
She has now returned to the classroom, wearing a wig to cover a dent in her head and the ear she lost in the attack.
Her students asked what had happened to her face and she simply told them she “got burned”.
She is now happy to be back teaching as she continues recovering, telling reporters: “This body is just temporary. The most important thing is the ease of mind. I just want to live happily, make up for my daughter’s loss and support my parents.”
The teacher has also founded the ‘Cong Dong Nan Nhan Bong Viet Nam’ (Vietnam Burn Victims Community) to help other victims and their families share their experiences.
Huyen’s ex-husband was reportedly found guilty of the attack and sentenced to seven years in prison.
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