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  1. ITV Report

Dad blinded in acid attack left living in 'world of darkness'

A father-of-three left blinded by an acid attack has described living in a "world of darkness".

Lee Deakin was set upon outside his home in St Helens in April.

The 37 year old can now see again thanks to staff at St Paul's Eye Unit in Liverpool.

But his attackers haven't been caught.

Lee Deakin two weeks after the attack Credit: Liverpool University Hospitals

Lee remembers - “I’d gone to get my charger out of the boot of my car at around 9pm, when I was jumped from behind and had a chemical liquid thrown on my face. I managed to grab hold of one of my attackers, but let go a few seconds later when I started to the feel the effects of what they’d done. All I could feel was intense burning - it felt like my face was melting off.

"I was instantly blind, but managed to find my way into my house and call for my partner, Amy, who called the emergency services. I ran into the bathroom and put the shower on, cold and full power, and blasted it into my eyes. All I could hear was Amy’s screams – I thought my face was falling off.

I was distraught, I thought I would never see again and I had no idea whether my face was disfigured or not. After being seen at St Helen’s Eye Clinic for checks and medication, I was referred to St Paul’s Eye Unit within the Royal Liverpool University Hospital because of the severity of my burns - my eyes were effectively two open wounds on my face.

– Lee Deakin
Lee Deakin before the attack

Lee was referred to St Paul’s Eye Unit within the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, where a surgeon said his injuries were one of the worst he'd seen in his 23 year career.

“On my ward at night after everyone had gone, I’d sit in my world of darkness and think, “I really, really hope this works, because if it doesn’t, I don’t think I can live this way”.

The self-employed driver said he lost his independence and his ability to work.

" My son is five and my youngest daughter is nine, and it broke my heart to think that in ten years’ time, I might not know what they look like. You don’t realise how much you take your sight for granted until it’s gone."

Lee can now see, and says he can "never repay" the team who looked after him.

  • Anyone with information about Lee’s attack is asked to contact Merseyside Police or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.