Crowdfunders have raised more than half of the £60,000 needed for a woman to get treated for severe injuries caused by her ex-boyfriend with sulphuric acid.
Junior doctor Rym Alaoui suffered “horrific life-changing” injuries after 25-year-old Milad Rouf threw the acid in her face as she opened the front door of her home in Brighton in May.
The ex-boyfriend – who studied medicine with her at Cardiff University – is serving a 15-year sentence after pleading guilty to throwing the acid with the intent to maim and disfigure.
Dr Alaoui’s family said the NHS doctor faces years of skin grafts, eye operations, and laser treatments to treat severe burns to her face, neck, eyes, chest, and arm.
She is blind in her right eye and is unable to close her eyes to sleep.
Not all the treatments are available on the NHS, and some of them will need to be paid for privately.
Launching the fundraiser, Dr Alaoui’s sister Alya wrote: “Six months on, we have a clearer view of Rym’s current and future medical requirements which is why I am opening a donation page again.
“Her injuries have turned out to be more serious than we expected at the time, and the full treatment unfortunately cannot be offered only by the NHS.
“Rym has suffered severe injuries to her face, neck, chest and arms. She’s still unable to see out of her right eye.
“So far, she’s had seven operations including skin grafts to her neck and chest and operations to her eye.
“Her doctors have said that she’ll need many more over the coming months and years. The cost of this all is estimated to be over £60,000.
“This includes a reconstruction of her neck, specialised laser therapy for scarring and surgical needling.
“I appreciate this is a really large sum of money, and I would be eternally grateful for anything you could give to help.”
The fundraiser has surpassed £35,000, with donations from nearly 1,000 people so far.
Alya also said: “Rym’s modest savings, having been an NHS junior doctor for only 10 months after her graduation, have been depleted.
“Our parents have been the only financial support and continue to cover her medical needs and domestic expenses.
“However, as a family, our funds are running low and we would really appreciate any help that we could get to give my sister her life back.”
In a statement read at Rouf’s sentencing at Lewes Crown Court, Dr Alaoui said she “lives in pain and fear” for her future wellbeing.
She added: “The psychological effect of this attack has been colossal on me, my family and loved ones.
“I cannot begin to imagine how or why someone would commit such a horrible, premeditated act. It is impossible to fathom, find peace with or justify what was going on in his mind.”
Lewes crown court heard Rouf and Dr Alaoui had dated for a few months while at university.
She ended the relationship with him at a time when they were not able to see each other due to Covid, and after she had to move city to take up a new job as a junior doctor at Royal Sussex County Hospital.
Just weeks after she moved, he carried out the attack in disguise by putting sulphuric acid – with a strength of at least 60 per cent – in a sealed soup mug, knocking on her door and, without a word, throwing the acid in her face before running off.
Rouf had disguised himself as a woman to carry out his twisted plan – wearing a padded bodysuit under his clothes, face paint, and a black full-head face mask.
In camera footage, Rouf is then seen changing his clothes, disposing them in various bins in Brighton city centre, before heading to a shop to buy a new jumper, jacket, and backpack – that he put on while still in the shop.
He then went back to the shop to buy sunglasses and a baseball cap.
Rouf returned to the seafront to retrieve a mobile phone from a pair of jeans he threw in a bin, before heading towards Brighton train station where he boarded a train for London – where his family’s home is.
He was arrested at his home in Cardiff, where officers found a hand-written list titled ‘costume 1’ and listing a number of items, the majority of which matched the descriptions of equipment and clothing worn by the suspect at the time of the attack.
Rouf’s hand-written list detailing the costumes and equipment he used to attack Dr Alaoui
Officers also found a blue jacket matching the description of the one he had purchased soon after the attack. The new backpack and baseball cap were also recovered in Cardiff.
In court, Judge Christine Laing, QC, told Rouf: “You bought sulphuric acid, as a trainee doctor you would know far better than most people the devastating consequences that has when applied to the human body.”
She added that Rouf acted out of “simple jealousy and anger at being rejected,” before sentencing him.
The fundraiser for Dr Alaoui’s treatments can be found here.