A 21-year-old Long Island woman was assaulted by a suspect who doused her with acid on her own driveway in a disturbing incident her family claims was a "planned attack."
Nafiah Ikram was left severely burned and nearly blind in the appalling March 17 Elmont attack. Her father, Sheikh Ikram, 50, said Nafiah was targeted on her way home from work.
"No it’s not a random attack, it’s a planned attack," Ikram told The Post Wednesday night.
"If it was a random attack why did… they waited for her to come home," Ikram said, adding the suspect could have attacked his wife, who was outside moments earlier.
"They come very closely to her and it was so much acid, like almost… you can say one pound," the distraught father said.
Warning: Graphic Video
Nassau County Police confirmed the nature of the attack, and said cops were looking for a tall slim man wearing a hooded sweatshirt and gloves.
"The male suspect was carrying a white colored cup containing a dark colored substance which he then threw at the victim’s face," cops said in a statement.
Nafiah, who is studying medicine at Hofstra University, and has plans to be a doctor, was rushed to the hospital by her mother, who also works there.
"If I was not home, if my wife was not home… it would be maybe too late for her to even survive," Ikram said.
The family does not believe Nafiah was targeted in a hate crime, but says they have no idea why anyone would want to hurt her, let alone in such a vicious manner.
"Why? We don’t have enemies," Ikram pleaded. "My daughter, she is 21. She don’t have any enemies from her childhood. She is a very friendly person."
Nafiah is just starting to talk again, but still struggles to eat or drink, because acid burned her throat, her father said.
"She is very scared. My wife, she sleeps with her every night," Ikram shared.
"She can not shower herself, she gets scared when the water goes in her face.. so my wife has to go in the washroom with her to bathe her. And both arms are burned, she can not do anything. So it’s very, very painful."
Nafiah struggles to see even a few feet in front of her, and the family is praying she will be able to regain her vision.
"It’s really looking very poor. They [the doctors] don’t have answers for us. They did say ‘miracles do happen.’ "
"So, so far really, we are just hoping and praying that miracles do happen to people, and maybe it will happen to my daughter too."
The family says it is stunned by the outpouring of generosity and support from family and friends. Almost $300,000 has been raised in donations to pay for medical costs.
"We just want to thank everyone who has really donated and we really want people to pray for her to heal and most importantly, pray for her eye. It doesn’t matter how much money in the world is there, but we need her health," said Ikram, who works as a professional driver for Bravo "Top Chef" Padma Lakshmi.
"This is every parent’s worst nightmare. Nafiah’s medical costs will be astronomical. Her @gofundme is in my bio if you have anything to spare," Lakshmi posted to her 1.1 million Instagram followers Tuesday.
Ikram pleaded with his daughter’s attacker to turn himself in before he hurts someone else Wednesday night.
"We just want to say, think about it… what you did to my daughter. Please don’t do [it] to anyone else.
"We are just hoping that that person will get caught because we don’t want anyone else to be in that condition."
This story first appeared in the New York Post.