Saturday, January 28, 2023
Jan. 28, 2023

Linkedin Pinterest

Victim in acid attack undergoes surgery

By
Published:
2 Photos
Legacy Health released this photo of Bethany Storro taken after the Monday attack near Esther Short Park.
Legacy Health released this photo of Bethany Storro taken after the Monday attack near Esther Short Park. Storro was to undergo a dermabrasion procedure today to minimize the long-term damage to her face. Photo Gallery

A Safeway official on Wednesday night said a fund that people can contribute to will be set up for Bethany Storro. Details are expected to come Thursday or Friday.

People on street reflect on acid attack

Bethany Storro, the 28-year-old Vancouver woman who had acid thrown in her face Monday night, underwent surgery Wednesday afternoon at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center.

“The surgery went well and she’s resting now,” Amber Shoebridge, spokeswoman for Emanuel, said Wednesday night. No other details were available.

On Wednesday morning, the doctor charged with caring for Storro described her as “anxious at times, tearful, and worried about what this all means for her future.”

A Safeway official on Wednesday night said a fund that people can contribute to will be set up for Bethany Storro. Details are expected to come Thursday or Friday.

Dr. Nick Eshraghi spoke with reporters inside a conference room at the Oregon Burn Center at Emanuel before a dermabrasion procedure he hoped would remove layers of damaged skin from Storro’s burnt face.

Storro, he said, suffered second-degree burns and worse in a Monday attack when a woman she didn’t know approached her, uttered a question, and tossed a cup of acid into her face.

The incident happened at about 7:15 p.m. Monday as Storro stood outside the passenger side of her car, planning to get some coffee at the Starbucks across the street from Esther Short Park.

Storro was wearing a pair of sunglasses she bought shortly before the attack that are being credited with protecting her eyes.

“That could have been a very bad injury,” Eshraghi said.

The doctor said a drop of the substance recovered from Storro’s clothing has tested positive as sulfuric or hydrochloric acid. The cup contained enough acid to cover her whole face, he said. The liquid did not come into contact with the inside of her mouth, her hair or neck.

Eshraghi said he hasn’t stopped thinking about Storro since she arrived at the burn center, having been rushed there by paramedics after a passer-by reported the episode to 911.

He said she’s at risk of scarring and will likely remain in the hospital for several more days. The dermabrasion, he said, could help stem some of the long-term effects by “lifting the obviously dead tissue.”

“We’ve dealt with much worse than this,” Eshraghi said.

The acid used in the attack is contained inside common household cleaners, Eshraghi said, seizing the opportunity to warn against the danger of chemicals that sit “right underneath our kitchen sinks.”

When Storro arrived at the hospital, Eshraghi said a saline solution was used to wash lingering acid from her face. Storro’s burns have been treated with topical antibiotics and she is being administered medicine to relieve her pain, he added.

“She’s doing OK, considering,” Eshraghi said Wednesday morning.

Storro recently returned from Priest River, Idaho to her native Vancouver, said her mother, Nancy Neuwelt. Storro works at the Safeway grocery store in Washougal.

Neuwelt said her daughter is single and has no children.

Neuwelt was not available for comment Wednesday night.

The apparently random act of violence has drawn international media attention. Police released no new information Wednesday.

“Detectives are still actively investigating” the attack, said Kim Kapp, a Vancouver police spokeswoman.

The assailant was described as a black woman between 25 and 35, who wore a green shirt and khaki shorts. She had medium-length black hair that was pulled back, said Vancouver Police Detective Cpl. Wally Stefan, who is hoping for more information from the public.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Stefan at 360-487-7425.

Legacy Wednesday released the first photos of Storro since the incident. The photos show Storro sitting in her hospital bed, her skin marked in brown, and swollen.

“Bethany’s very brave to be OK with showing those,” said Legacy spokeswoman Shoebridge.

Loading...