Acid attack survivor gets reconstructive surgery by Face Forward non-profit in Beverly Hills

The beauty in Atsede Niguse's smile shines through despite the acid attack that left her face so disfigured.

Niguse is a survivor of domestic violence.

She left her home country of Ethiopia for reconstructive surgeries in Beverly Hills through Face Forward International.

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Face Forward does reconstructive facial work on some of the most horrific of cases.

The non-profit was founded by Deborah Alessi, who says she too was a victim of domestic violence in the past. Her husband Dr. David Alessi performs the surgeries.

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The coronavirus put other potential international patients on hold but Niguse was already in Northern California at her sponsor's awaiting her surgeries.


Niguse's host and translator is Menbere Aklilu. She too is a survivor of domestic violence.                

Aklilu says Niguse's husband threw acid on her, burning her face, leaving her blind. Before photos show the beautiful woman who once worked in the world of cosmetics.                

The first surgery was Friday, nasal reconstruction.

She'll have a followup appointment this week and await further dates.

Alessi's goal is to improve her life on many things we may "take for granted, even if it's just breathing properly."                

Deborah Alessi called Niguse the perfect candidate in that she is willing to share her story to help other women in the fight against domestic violence. Alessi says Niguse "is looking for her tomorrow."