NEW YORK (NYTIMES) – Around 8pm on a cool, cloudy March evening, Nafiah Ikram returned to her home on New York’s Long Island after a 10-hour shift at a nearby CVS, where she worked as a pharmacy technician.
Ikram, 21, parked outside, and her mother, who had been in the passenger seat, rushed inside to use the restroom. Ikram lingered to retrieve some food from the back of the car.
Then her attacker struck.
Bursting out of the darkness, a man in a hood ran up to Ikram and threw a large cup filled with battery acid in her face before sprinting off. The acid seared one of Ikram’s contact lenses to her eye. It ran down her throat as she screamed, singeing her lungs.
Her family thinks her injuries would have killed her had her mother, a nurse practitioner, not moved her daughter quickly into the bathroom and doused her with water.
More than a month later, after several weeks in the hospital, Ikram still has painful burns and trouble eating. Doctors have warned that her eyesight may be compromised forever by the March 17 attack.
No arrests have been made.
And her family lives in fear, wondering who would have attacked Ikram, a Hofstra University student, in what appeared to be an intentionally savage, calculated act that came out of nowhere.
“I am lucky to be alive,” Ikram said in an interview on Thursday (April 22).
“I think that the whole ‘making sense of it’ will come when hopefully the person that did this or the people that were behind this get caught. But right now, I am trying to just be OK.”
Sheikh Ikram, Ikram’s father, said he believed authorities needed to put more resources into investigating the case.
“We cannot relax,” he said. “We cannot even sit outside. We are mentally so disturbed.”
Commissioner Patrick J. Ryder of the Nassau County Police Department said in a statement that the attack at the home in Elmont, New York, a diverse suburb of about 36,000 people some 24km east