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Woman's face destroyed with acid by friend who didn't want her to be cabin crew

A mum-of-one whose face was destroyed after her friend threw acid at her has been reunited with her surgeon.

Kanwal Qayyum, 40, from Pakistan, was horrifically scarred in 2011 after she was doused in sulphuric acid by a jealous friend who wanted to stop her becoming an air hostess.

She was left without a nose, eyebrows or eyelashes and was forced to give up her dream job.

Hair transplant surgeon Asim Shahmalak, from Manchester, flew out to Karachi to offer his help for free.

The doctor created two new eyebrows and new eyelashes in the left eyelid from hair taken from the back of Kanwal’s scalp.

He has since been honoured by former prime minister Boris Johnson for his efforts to help acid attack victims.

Kanwal said: ‘I cannot thank the doctor enough, he has completely transformed my face and I love my new eyebrows and new eyelashes.’

Dr Shahmalak said: ‘Kanwal is one of the bravest women I have ever met. It was wonderful to hear how she has rebuilt her life following the attack and is now working successfully in a textile company.’

The renowned surgeon met with more of his patients, including Niaz Bano who lost her left eye after being pelted with acid at her daughter’s wedding.

Due to his efforts at reconstructing her eyebrows and eyelashes, Niaz has ‘bounced back brilliantly’ and now runs a grocery store.

More patients in Pakistan are waiting for surgery, including Maira Afzal, 19, who was just two years old when she fell in a hot oven made of bricks and lost all the hair at the front of her scalp.

Dr Shahmalak also met new patient Muhammad Usman, a 28-year-old computer designer, who lost an eye in an acid attack and has so far had four operations to rebuild his face.

The charity Depilex Smileagain Foundation has helped put acid attack victims in Pakistan in contact with doctors who have offered help.

Praising Dr Shahmalak’s charity work, Boris Johnson said: ‘I know you do this with no thought of praise or reward, but allow me to offer my own recognition of how you are providing life-changing surgery to rebuild the faces of people in Pakistan who have experienced devastating acid attacks.’


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