A 21-year-old woman was 'nearly blinded' after a vicious attack on a London bus in rush hour in South London.
Karina Necula said her attacker used threatening language, including: "You think I wouldn't punch a woman?" before punching her in the eye, for which she later needed five hour surgery and has left her with lasting damage to her eye.
Karina, a student at University of Greenwich, knocked into the man as they were both running for the bus in Brixton High Road.
In a state of shock, Karina ran off the bus to a nearby shop clutching her bleeding eye where someone called an ambulance.
Doctors later told Karina she had two fractured eye sockets.
"After he punched me, immediately I started bleeding, I had my hands down to catch the blood," she said.
"It only took paramedics about 15 minutes to arrive but because I had concussion everything felt like it was in slow motion.
"I didn't feel pain at the time, because of the shock. I was just crying and I could see blood everywhere. I couldn't see out of my eye.
"I was really, really panicked. I actually thought that the blood was coming from my eyes because he had a key in his hand.
"So it slashed underneath my eye but I didn't know if it went into my actual eye. So I was I was freaking out big time," she added.
Karina praised the paramedics who held her hand to calm her down as she was rushed to hospital, where a scan revealed two fractures in her eye socket and a broken bone near her nose.
She was stitched up and then had to wait eight weeks for surgery, meanwhile she had limited use of her eye.
She wasn't allowed to do any strenuous activity during this time or sleep on her side, and she had to cancel holidays planned, due to her eye being in such a precarious state.
'I was in extreme pain'
Karina explained: "Your eye can drop a few centimetres and still stay in your head and be fine.
"But mine had trapped tissue and trapped nerve so I couldn't move my eye. That was the issue. And that was causing my vision problems.
"So I couldn't look up, down, left and right, I could only look forward. I was in extreme pain.
"And I was depressed, I couldn't leave the house and I was just so worried I would go blind. I just cried literally every day."
After eight weeks, Karina underwent a five hour surgery to fix her broken eye sockets.
However to this day, she is still left with physical damage - including 'Monocular vision' where one pupil is bigger than the other.
Karina said this has had a damaging effect on her self esteem.
Aside from the physical impact, the psychological damage that the assault has had on Karina has been far-reaching. Where she says she used to be a 'bubbly' person, she now tries her best to keep a low-profile in public, for fear of being attacked again.
Karina and her mum Karen contacted the police in an attempt to catch the attacker.
However it emerged that no CCTV points to the area the attack took place in Brixton High Road.
A spokesperson for the Met said: "Officers have carried out a number of enquiries and have obtained CCTV from the local authority and several nearby businesses.
"Unfortunately, none of the cameras captured the incident or the suspect. A computer-generated image of the suspect has been released and we remain committed to identifying the man responsible.
No one should have to put up with unwanted attention or predatory, sexual or violent behaviour."
Karina is being kept back a year at university because of the ordeal. The day of her surgery fell on the day of her exams at The University of Greenwich, where she is studying ForensicPsychology.
A University of Greenwich spokesperson said: “The university is continuing to support Karina with her studies and her wellbeing following this terrible incident.
"The deferral of her course happened automatically and her appeal is underway.
The university, and her tutors, are supporting her in this process."
Anyone with information is encouraged to call police on 101 quoting CAD 5031/04Jun. Alternatively, you can provide information anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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