The 24-year-old woman with her husband and small child before life dealt her a tragic blow. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A 24-year-old Sri Lankan woman has been severely disfigured after acid used to clean the kitchen drain accidentally fell on her in her one-bedroom Karama home, XPRESS has learnt.

Nilakshi Sewwandi's husband Prasad Priyadarshan said on Wednesday that Nilakshi was being treated in the burns unit of Rashid Hospital. The couple have a 10-month-old son who was being breastfed till the accident.

A picture taken from Nilakshi's hospital bed shows the left side of her face badly charred with extensive scarring around her head, forehead, cheek and ear. In keeping with Prasad's request XPRESS is not publishing the picture.

Prasad said the incident occurred around 10.30am on April 21 when Nilakshi was cleaning the kitchen. She opened the fridge door and a can of drainage cleaning acid kept on top toppled down. Within seconds, the chemical burnt Nilakshi beyond recognition.

"I was playing with our son in the corridor when I heard her screaming. I went running inside and was shocked by what I saw," said Prasad. "She was in acute pain. Her head, face, chest and left hand were severely burnt. The T-shirt she was wearing was also burnt."

Prasad said the neighbours who also came rushing called 999. "The ambulance was with us within 10 minutes and she was rushed to Rashid Hospital." He said it has been two weeks since and Nilakshi is still undergoing treatment.

"She had one surgery today but cannot talk still," he said.

An immediate comment on Nilakshi's condition was not available from Rashid Hospital.

Prasad said he and his wife bought the drainage acid from a hardware shop in Satwa to use it for their kitchen drain which would often clog. "We had the can in the house for six months. Earlier, we used to keep it on the balcony but we removed it from there as our son plays in that area. We kept it on top of the fridge so that he would not be able to reach it. We couldn't have dreamt that something like this would happen," he said, suspecting that the can's cap may not have been closed tightly.

A friend said Nilakshi had lost all her hair and was severely disfigured. "By the time she reached the hospital, the acid got into her skin and reached her bones. She is scarred for life. Her own baby whom she was breastfeeding doesn't recognise her anymore."

The friend said the couple's family have flown in from their home country to be with the child. "It's a long battle ahead," said Prasad, the only breadwinner of his family. Concerned about the mounting hospital expenses, the family is desperate for help.

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