Naomi Oni, 21, had acid hurled over her face, head and body as she made her way home to Dagenham after her shift at Westfield’s Victoria’s Secret store last December.
The acid burned off the skin on her face and scalp and left her temporarily blinded. She lost her eyelids, eyebrows and some of her hair in the assault.
Since then, surgeons have painstakingly rebuilt her features including taking skin from the back of her ear to make new eyelids for her. But her eyebrows remained permanently damaged.
Now, ten months on, her skin has healed enough for her to have her eyebrows restored.
Naomi had a sophisticated semi-permanent make-up treatment that tattoos on the eyebrows as individual hairs, mimicking the effect of real brows.
‘It has been very difficult to come to terms with.My doctors have been brilliant but it will take years of laser surgery to repair my face.There is only so much you can do at any one time – then there is long healing process before you can undergo the next stage of the treatment.It is only now that I had been able to have semi-permanent make-up on my face.’I loved having the treatment – it feels so good to have my eyebrows back.
‘What I loved about the treatment was its intricacy – it is a form of cosmetic tattooing. It is the closest you can get to mimicking the appearance of the original brow.
I did get a bit emotional when I saw them. It’s the first time I have seen myself with eyebrows for almost a year.’
‘I asked, “why me?” I work hard, I’m a good person.I’m the same person now but stronger.I want to say to my attacker, “You can burn my skin but you can’t burn my soul.”‘
‘I felt a splash – that’s when I thought, someone’s out to kill me.I just started running straight home. I knew it was acid. It feels like something is eating way at your skin. I felt it most on my scalp, more than my face.’