SINGAPORE - In just a day, US$30,127 (S$42,380) was donated to a fund set up to help an acid attack victim from Africa.
The fund for Ms Namale Allen, from Kampala, Uganda, was started on Friday (Aug 14) on crowd-funding site GoFundMe after The Straits Times reported on her plight.
In May last year, Ms Allen, then 26 and pregnant, was at home when she was called to come outside by a man. She was carrying her four-year-old daughter on her hip as well.
The man then flung a copious amount of acid on her, practically melting her face, chest, neck, shoulders and back. Her daughter also suffered burns but not as severely.
Her situation came to the attention of humanitarian and social activist Lynsay Lewis, 34, who took her to medical professionals and eye specialists all over Uganda, none of whom could help to save her sight.
Ms Lewis, who co-foundeded a children's charity called Morning Star, then asked for the help of Singaporean lawyer-turned-chef Willin Low, a keen supporter of the charity.
A series of coincidences may see Ms Lewis and Ms Allen in Singapore, where Professor Donald Tan, one of the country's most eminent eye surgeons, has offered to review her case and, if need be, operate on her, pro bono.
Prof Tan is one of the world's best at osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis (OOKP), a highly complex procedure which involves reconstructing a new eye by using a tiny plastic lens and one of the patient's own teeth. The procedure is believed to be the only one which offers Ms Allen a shot at recovering her sight.
Mr Low said that since the story broke on Friday morning, people have been calling him and have pledged more than $10,000. He told Ms Lewis that they would use excess money to fund any other surgeries Ms Allen might need, long term medical care, blind education should surgery fail and charities with burn units. The donation drive here was started by Ms Roberta Ciccone, who runs a Facebook group called "Real Singapore Expat Wives".