UBC student won't regain eyesight, doctors now say

Attacked during visit home to Bangladesh, mom Rumana Monzur now struggling to keep studies going.

Photo courtesy of YouTube.

The final verdict on her eyesight was delivered today to UBC student Rumana Monzur -- and it wasn't good.

The 33-year-old grad student was home for a visit to Bangladesh in early June when she was attacked and her eyes gouged. Her husband has been charged in the incident.

Meantime, staff and students have rallied to try to help Monzur resume her studies, and her life.

Canadian Press has the story:

VANCOUVER -- A University of British Columbia student who was severely beaten during a trip home to Bangladesh won't see again, despite four surgeries by Canadian doctors attempting to restore her eyesight, the university said Monday.

Rumana Monzur, a 33-year-old graduate student, was home in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in early June when her eyes were gouged and her face disfigured. Her husband is now in custody.

She returned to Vancouver earlier this month hoping experts here could restore at least some of her vision, but the school said in a statement released Monday that Monzur's injuries "were found to be beyond repair'' and the surgeries were unsuccessful.

"I am very grateful for the medical care I have received,'' Monzur said in the statement.

"It had been my wish to recover my eyesight so I could see all the people who have been helping me. I want you all to pray for me. My family and I will need some time to adjust to this news.''

Monzur, a Fulbright scholar and mother of a young girl, returned home for a visit when she was attacked June 5. Her eyes were gouged and her nose bitten.

Her husband, Hasan Sayeed Sumon, is in jail in Bangladesh facing charges of attempted murder.

Monzur returned to Vancouver with her father a month after the attack. Her mother and daughter are expected to join her soon.

The university has been raising money to cover Monzur's medical and living expenses as she completes her studies. The school has so far raised $61,000 towards a goal of $70,000.

Monzur had already finished a draft of her master's thesis, focusing on the effects of climate change on developing countries. The university estimates it will take her about six months to complete revisions before submitting a final version.

The attack has prompted student groups at the university to hold fundraising events and rallies to raise awareness about violence against women.

The case has also become a rallying cry for politicians and advocates in Bangladesh, where the United Nations Population Fund has estimated about half of all women face domestic violence at least once.

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