B.C. couple face long recovery after ‘life-changing’ acid attack in Vietnam

A Maple Ridge couple is recovering after a horrifying acid attack that has left one of them with significant burns.

Tammy Nguyen and her boyfriend Nghiêm Võ, who goes by Tom, were visiting Vietnam for the Lunar New Year when the attack happened.

In a Facebook post recounting the Feb. 9 incident, Nguyen said the pair were riding a motorbike on their way to have dinner when they found themselves on a road with no street lights.

She said they passed another motorbike with two men on it.

“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.

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“Tom crawled about 1 meter away from me and 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.”

Local media report that Võ has been transported to Thailand for temporary treatment en route to Canada.

In a Facebook direct message, Nguyen said she is by her boyfriend’s side in the ICU.

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Click to see photos. Warning: Disturbing images. 


According to Nguyen’s Facebook post, the attack left Võ with burns to 90 per cent of his face and hands, along with burns on his legs and stitches from the knife wounds.

She said he was not able to fully open one of his eyes and his vision has been reduced to 15-20 per cent.

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Nguyen managed to escape with smaller burns on her thighs, hand and the left side of her face, she wrote.

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“Still cannot believe this all happened. I’m still thinking it’s a nightmare and wanting it to all go away,” she wrote.

“Please pray for Tom. It’s not fair to go on vacation and to have something like this [happen].”

Global Affairs confirmed to Global News that a Canadian citizen had been injured in Vietnam and that Canadian officials in the country were in contact with local officials to gather information and provide consular assistance.

According to a GoFundMe campaign started by Nguyen’s friend Cecilia Tran, Võ is a permanent resident of Canada, but not a citizen, which has complicated issues with the Canadian government.

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“This is so devastating and should never happen to anyone. Tammy and Tom are both very humble and hardworking people, super talented nail technicians in Port Coquitlam, BC.,” she wrote.

“This is definitely life-changing for them, not for the better.”

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