“THEY saved my sight.”
Those are the words of a woman who says quick thinking residents prevented her from being blinded after an attacker threw bleach over her.
The 46-year-old victim was walking along an alleyway in Eastleigh when she was targeted.
Luckily those who came to her aid included a former nurse.
Hospital staff have told how the early actions of residents and paramedics could well have saved the woman’s sight.
The victim told how she had been walking to work along the alleyway between Newtown Road and George Street in Eastleigh, which is often used as a shortcut for people heading for the town or station.
She was unaware that someone had come up behind her and then felt something being thrown at the back of her head, which ran down the front of her face.
The woman, who is too frightened to be named, said: “At first I thought it was water then I realised it wasn’t water, it was bleach – I could smell it.
“My eyes were stinging. I was screaming and crying.
“I was worried about my eyes, worried about what was going to happen to me.”
In panic the woman used her personal alarm and was found by a passerby and two builders working on a nearby house.
They took her straight to a house in Newtown Road owned by Sara Harrison.
Sara, 40, a former nurse, poured water over her until the ambulance arrived, telling her to keep her eyes closed.
Sara said she was told by the hospital that without this quick action the woman would have lost her sight.
“It’s quite scary,” she added.
“She could have been blinded, she was lucky I was in. It’s just evil.”
The victim, who works in a bakery, was taken to Southampton General Hospital.
She has redness to her face and more severe burns to her chest, which may leave scars.
But she says she is now wary whenever she leaves the house and that she will never use that alleyway again.
“I feel scared because you should be able to go about your everyday business and not have to worry that something like that’s going to happen,” she said.
“I don’t feel safe. Why did somebody do it to me? I’m not doing any wrong.”
She thanked all those that had come to her aid.
Police, who described the attack as “vicious, cruel and very dangerous”, are investigating.
PC Maryann Attard-Charret said they were keeping an open mind over whether the attack had been random or targeted, but said it was a rare, isolated incident.
Police would like to hear from anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the area at the time, between 9.20am and 9.30am on Monday. Ring Eastleigh CID on 101.