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Image: Bethany Storro
Bethany Storro, 28, is in serious condition after the acid attack.
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 9/1/2010 3:33:30 PM ET 2010-09-01T19:33:30

A 28-year-old Vancouver, Wash., woman who had acid thrown in her face has undergone surgery at a Portland hospital.

Legacy Emanuel Medical Center spokeswoman Amber Shoebridge said Wednesday night that Bethany Storro's surgery went well and she was resting.

Bethany Storro, of Vancouver, Wash., was getting something out of her car in downtown Vancouver when the attack happened Monday evening, her mother Nancy Neuwelt told The Oregonian.

Neuwelt said a young woman walked up to her daughter, said: "Hey pretty girl, do you want to drink this?" and tossed a cup of liquid in Storro's face.

"I’m a nice girl and I don’t know why this happened," Storro, 28, said Tuesday in her hospital room in the Oregon Burn Center at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, The Columbian newspaper reported.

Storro said the pain was the most excruciating she had ever experienced, her mother told The Columbian.

"It was burning through her shirt. She took off her shirt and she was trying to wipe her face," Neuwelt said, according to the newspaper.

'Felt like her heart stopped'
Storro "kind of remembers walking in circles," Neuwelt added. "She felt like her heart stopped at one point."

She collapsed, screaming for help, only to realize she was not being heard. She got back up and stumbled toward a group of people, The Oregonian reported.

"Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers," Storro said in a written statement Tuesday, The Oregonian reported. "I appreciate all of the well wishes being sent my way. I do ask, if anyone should know the woman who assaulted me, please contact the Vancouver Police."

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Neuwelt said her daughter was wearing a pair of sunglasses she had bought shortly before the attack and that may have saved her eyesight. Still, Storro's family said her face will take months to heal.

"It's very bizarre, very random and very weird, and we don’t understand it," Neuwelt told The Columbian, speaking by phone from her daughter's bedside.

"She’s having a hard time," she added. "It's changed her life now and her emotions are all over the place."

Recently moved to city
Neuwelt told The Columbian that her daughter had recently moved to Vancouver and was single with no children.

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"She wanted to make a fresh start and this happened," Neuwelt, a worship leader and administrative assistant at a local church, told the paper. "Bethany is a really great, fun, energetic and adorable girl, and she didn’t deserve this."

"I am so disgusted with society right now!" Storro’s brother, Abraham Neuwelt of Seattle, said on his Facebook page, The Columbian reported.

"Yesterday my little sister got some form of acid thrown into her face while walking through downtown Vancouver, WA. She is currently in the hospital with severe burns and could face permanent damage. This incident was totally unprovoked and malicious in nature. If you believe in prayer, now is the time to ask for a full recovery and that the assailant be brought to justice!"

Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp said doctors and authorities were trying to determine what kind of substance caused Storro's facial burns.

Police said the assailant was described as a black woman between 25 and 35, who wore a green shirt and khaki shorts, The Columbian reported. She had medium-length black hair that was pulled back.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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