WARNING – GRAPHIC IMAGES: A young woman has bravely spoken out about how her whole life changed in a matter of minutes after an acid attack.
Last month, Hofstra University student Nafiah Ikram, 21, was attacked in her driveway in the US when an unknown assailant threw acid in her face as she was walking from her car.
According to the GoFundMe set up to help Nafiah with expenses, the unknown attacker was caught on camera wearing gloves, indicating he knew the substance would cause blindness or severe burning.
"Had the acid gotten into Nafiah's lungs she would have died," Shazia Anjum, a neighbour and good friend wrote on the GoFundMe.
"When Nafiah screamed it caused the acid to go into her mouth, burning her tongue and throat, which prevented her from breathing."
Nafiah suffered burns to her face, chest, arms and eyes and she was wearing contact lenses, which the acid melted onto her eyes.
The 21-year-old ran into her family home, where her parents saw her in agony and tried to help her — burning their own hands and limbs in the process.
Heinous attack caught on camera
Video shared to YouTube and the GoFundMe shows Nafiah walking from the car to her home on March 17.
The assailant comes sprinting into the frame before throwing the acid on Nafiah and running off down the street the way they came.
Speaking to CBS New York, Nafiah said she saw a man watching her from the corner when she arrived home from work that night at around 7.40pm.
“My whole life changed in a matter of five minutes,” she said.
“We don’t realise what we have until it’s gone.”
Now, Nafiah can only see colours, but nothing else.
Her father, Sheikh Ikram, said Nafiah was in the hospital for three weeks and she was not able to eat properly.
Assailant still at large
Nafiah wants to know why she was targeted as the attacker said nothing to her as he threw the acid in her face.
She now questions what she could have done to cause somebody to attack her in such a violent way.
“I want to know, like, what’s the reason? Like, what could I have possibly done to somebody?” Nafiah told CBS New York.
Author, activist, model, and television host, Padma Lakshmi, explained on Instagram she knew the Ikram family and used her large following to spread awareness of the incident.
"This is a very nice Pakistani family who I have known for over a decade," Ms Lakshmi said.
"This is their only daughter, she has her whole life ahead of her."
The family does not believe the attack was a hate crime, though they are now living in fear.
"Nafiah has stayed incredibly strong throughout this horrific event. Nafiah's only wish is that the attacker is caught so that she can feel safe in her own home," the GoFundMe says.
The person who attacked Nafiah has not been caught.
Nassau County Police are urging anyone with information which may lead to an arrest to come forward and have put up a $US10,000 ($A12,916) reward.
The suspect is being described as being over six foot, with a skinny build and he reportedly fled in a Nissan Altima.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com