Helen Jones's daughter informed that the attack burned her lips, tongue, and eyes. Moreover, she is traumatized by the incident.
One elderly woman became the victim of a random attack that resulted in a painful turn of events. A 61-year-old grandmother and phlebotomist became blind in both the eyes after she suffered an acid attack.
According to ABC News, Helen Jones from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was leaving her home for work on October 6, 2020, when the unexpected incident took place. It was around 6:15 a.m. and Jones was walking towards her car that was parked in front of her house, situated in Germantown. She was hoping to drive to a nursing home to draw blood for patients.
61-year-old grandmother and phlebotomist now blind after she was randomly attacked by a stranger who splashed acid in her face as she was leaving her own home. https://t.co/Va2wcSHJIu— ABC News (@ABC) October 15, 2020
However, her plans were altered by a man who approached her unexpectedly. The man called out to the elderly woman and asked her if she was alright. When the woman lifted her face to respond to the man, he splashed chlorosulfuric acid on her face.
"There was a man there and he was like 'Hey, are you good?' As if he was inquiring about her safety making sure she was okay," said Aneesha Summerville, the daughter of the victim. She continued, "And when she looked up to say 'yes,' he threw the stuff in her face and ran off... It's devastating."
Pennsylvania Grandmother Left Blind After Stranger Throws Acid On Her in Apparent Random Attack https://t.co/3VhycNm7B2— People (@people) October 16, 2020
The incident that happened out of the blue left Jones in terror. She frantically banged the doors of her house hoping to get inside, according to a witness. Dorothy Hannibal, who has lived next to Jones for more than 20 years stated, "I just heard a lot of screaming and she was banging on her door trying to get in."
Immediately, after the dreadful incident, Jones was transported to Temple University Hospital. The woman, placed in a critical condition, was recovering at the hospital. However, she was later declared blind.
"(The doctors) just said that she's blind. They couldn't tell us if she would get her vision back or not," Summerville told WPVI, according to ABC news. "(She) didn't know him. It was totally unexpected. She saw his eyes. If she was able to see him again she would know his eyes," added the daughter. She added the acid confirmed by the Philadelphia Fire Department's Hazmat Unit also burned her mother's lips, tongue and eyes.
The concerned daughter also stated that the attacker was wearing a mask at the time of the encounter. Learning that the attacker had spilled some acid at the time of the attack, she doubted he could have burns on his hands.
On the other hand, the incident has changed Jones's life forever. "She was very independent one moment, and the next moment we have to make sure we are around to make sure she's not knocking into anything or she's not going to get hurt," said the daughter. She continued, "One day you're independent and living your life and the next moment you're totally dependent on people. I just hope somebody comes forward so justice can be done for her."
The Philadelphia Police Department is looking into the case. “No previous exchange, no problems with anybody. Just a complete random incident. If nothing happened in 20 years, the odds are nothing will happen again for 20 years. But with that we still have to conduct our investigation," said Inspector Michael McCarrick to WPVI.
Meanwhile, Jones's family hopes to find the man responsible for her traumatic experience. The family has also started a GoFund Me page to aid her medical expenses.
"We are establishing this fund to help us navigate the endless bills and devastation this unknown masked man has caused Helen and our family. Helen's road to recovery is just beginning and we appreciate all of you who want to help us help her," stated Summerville on the page. She added, "Our family was not prepared for such devastation."