Ian Fray suffers severe acid attack in the line of duty
Last year gas installation driver Ian Fray was subjected to a horrendous acid attack in Spanish Town during a robbery incident which will mar the remainder of his life.
This article contains a graphic image, your discretion is advised.
“We men are wretched things,” said Homer, and time hasn’t disproved him.
Last year, gas installation driver Ian Fray was subjected to a horrendous acid attack in Spanish Town during a robbery incident which will mar the remainder of his life.
He has been hospitalised for a year now, awaiting surgery, enduring excruciating pain, his sight irreparably damaged and his face burnt and ravished beyond recognition.
How did this happen?
Fray was dispatched by his company to deliver gas to an address in Green Acres, Spanish Town.
He set off with his side man to the stipulated residence, only to discover there was no one living there.
Pulling away from what seemingly was a futile mission, a man ran out from two houses down gesticulating and said the gas was to be delivered to a house down the road.
Fray backed the truck up to the gate of the said house and went through the back door to install the cylinder. The man followed him into the house and then punched Fray to the ground and pulled a knife on him, demanding the delivery man give up his cash.
A struggle ensued, where the assailant withdrew a bottle and threw its contents into Fray’s face. Fray fell to the ground, where the man placed his foot on his chest and proceeded to pour the remnants of the bottle on Fray’s chest.
His body went into paroxysms of pain, with burning sensations taking hold as he lay there writhing on the floor - unable to fathom what was the substance burning the flesh from his body.
He heard a man banging on the door, shouting “you are not supposed to kill him, just beat him and rob him!”
Fray recalls the assailant got some of the bottled substance on his hand and he ran to wash it off.
Fray’s side man, who remained outside the house, encountered the assailant and enquired whether he had seen the driver. The assailant picked up a rock and threw it at the side man, hitting him in the head.
The assailant’s accomplices were quick on the scene, bringing a frisson of added tension. The side man heard Fray’s cries within the house and he ran to the aid of his colleague.
He managed to drag him to the truck where Fray, badly hurt, drove as quickly as he could to avoid the men bearing down on them.
By this time the side man was able to get a good look at Fray and was repulsed by his burnt skin, his discoloured eyes and the rawness of his peeling flesh. He asked Fray what his assailant threw over him.
Fray had no idea what was causing him such agony. He was only able to make it to the bottom of Green Acres before his sight was very impaired and pain seized his entire body. He had to stop the truck.
The side man stopped a vehicle driver and asked to be taken to Spanish Town Hospital, explaining that he didn’t know how to drive and that Fray was severely injured as a result of a robbery.
At Spanish Town Hospital, the emergency unit immediately proceeded to wash Fray down and identified the substance as an acid with an alkaline base.
The next day he was transferred to the Kingston Public Hospital where the decision was taken that he needed specialist care of the surgeons at the burns unit at the University of Hospital of the West Indies.
Four days later he was transferred, this time to UWI Hospital with a plastic surgeon assiduously attending to his lacerating burns.
Fray underwent numerous surgeries and skin graphing procedures. With his sight severely damaged, Fray’s family made an appeal for financial assistance to obtain needed amniotic membrane for both eyes.
The photo on the left shows Ian Fray before he was viciously attacked. The one on the right shows Fray after being treated at hospital, where he still remains.
Dr Swaby of UWI Hospital and a team of ophthalmologists have diagnosed that surgery on Fray’s corneas can be done, but an impediment to this is Fray no longer has eyelids.
Fray’s family have started a GoFundMe campaign in an effort to raise funds for what will be complicated surgery. Fray’s boss has also made substantial contributions to his medical expenses.
Fray is in a desperate battle to regain some sight. What is clear is that his life will never be the same again as a result of a delivery to Green Acres in Spanish Town, St Catherine.