My name is Susan Forgives and I am a survivor of an acid attack.
I was taking a taxi home from work when it happened. Two men onboard the taxi asked the driver to stop. On their way out, they threw acid in my face and fled. I had never seen them before, and didn't realise what was happening until my face started burning.
The first time I looked in the mirror after the attack I couldn't recognize myself. The left side of my face, my left eye, ear and nose were severely burnt and swollen, as was my left shoulder and both hands.
Without health insurance I wasn't sure how I was going to recover from the attack, but at the hospital I was very fortunate to meet Plastic Surgeon Mark van der Velde and Anaesthetist Dr Stephen Rous who offered their time and expertise pro-bono.
So far I've been through 6 major operations: 1) debridement of the skin, 2) skin graft, 3) reconstruction of my left eye, 4) stem cell graft, 5) insertion of tissue expanders and recently a full thickness graft.
I have at least 3 years of reconstructive surgery left, and although I work full-time, my salary is not enough to cover my additional medical expenses: hospital stays, theatre charges, medications and unforseen medical costs.
I'm hoping that with the help of indiegogo I will be able to raise the funds I need to cover my additional expenses and restore my face.
I also hope to study nursing and make a difference in other people's lives - to help others like I have been helped. Hopefully, my story will inspire people to remain strong and not give up regardless of the circumstances they are confronted with.