No hope for beaten, blinded UBC student to regain eyesight

By Erica Bulman, 24 Hours Vancouver

Vancouver - 

Brutally beaten and blinded UBC masters student Rumana Manzur will never see again, University of British Columbia officials said Monday.

Despite four surgeries last week to attempt to restore some of her vision, the severity of her injuries has proven beyond repair, the university said.

"I am very grateful for the medical care I have received," Manzur said. "It had been my wish to recover my eyesight so I could see all the people who have been helping me. I want you to pray for me. My family and I will need some time to adjust to this news."

Doctors had known the damage to Manzur's left eye was "catastrophic" but had hoped to restore some vision in the other eye.

Manzur's five-year-old daughter Anusheh Syeed and mother Rahima Manzur are expected to arrive in Canada soon to be with her.

Manzur's eyes were badly damaged in early June when her husband Hasan Sayeed Sumon allegedly gouged her eyes and chewed at her nose during a brutal attack at their home in Bangladesh. Sumon allegedly attacked her for nearly half an hour at her parents' home in Dhaka, tearing into her eyes with his fingers. Their daughter witnessed the assault. Sumon remains in jail in Bangladesh.

UBC, which is collecting money to support the 33-year-old and her family as she undergoes treatment, has received more than $61,000 in gifts toward its goal of $70,000 to cover health and living expenses as well as costs related to Manzur completing her studies in political science. UBC students are also organizing fundraisers and events, and launched campaigns to stop violence against women.

"Our hearts go out to Ms. Manzur," said Louise Nasmith, vice president of Students, pro term. "Our campus community is responding with concern and ongoing support. We have also seen an outpouring of support from the broader community."