WEST HILLS (CBSLA.com) — Doctors are working to restore the face of a Ugandan woman who was doused with battery acid by her partner’s jealous ex-girlfriend.
Christine Nakato, 21, was left disfigured and unable to see out of her left eye from the attack four years ago.
Nakato spoke through a translator to recall the event.
“She just looked at her and told her ‘Today, this is when your beauty is going to cease,’ and then she started screaming in the house,” Nakato said through translator Lydia Natoolo.
The former girlfriend had knocked on the door and thrown the battery acid on Nakato’s face when she answered. The attack resulted in second- and third-degree burns throughout nearly 40 percent of her body.
At this time of tragedy, doctors gave Nakato a reason for hope when they informed her that she was pregnant.
“She says she wakes up every day for her, that she’s given her different purpose,” Natoolo said. “She wants to live and be there for her.”
With her now-2-year-old daughter and her boyfriend’s support, Christine is moving on from the tragedy.
An American volunteer in Uganda reached out to the Grossman Burn Foundation. Together, they raised money and arranged for Christine to come to the United States to undergo reconstructive surgeries.
Peter Grossman, lead surgeon in Christine’s cosmetic reconstructive process, says his team will perform a series of surgeries on her face, breasts and arms.
“We do really want to make this young woman have a sense of self-esteem and give back to her a little bit of what was taken away from her,” Grossman said. “If we can help just one person with Christine, then maybe the ripple effect of that will be that we will have let people put a face to violence that occurs against women.”
Christine’s first facial surgery is set for Friday. She says that when she returns to Uganda, she intends to fight for victims like her.
“She says she doesn’t have anything to give, but rather to say thank you, she’s so grateful.”