Mark van Dongen was attacked with acid by Berlinah Wallace, and the attack left him so terribly deformed that he decided to take his own life. BBC News investigates the enormous cost he incurred by rejecting her.

Dr Nic White initially mistook Mark van Dongen’s naked appearance on the street in the early morning hours of September 23, 2015, for a prank when he covered his face in the dirt.

She stated: “Someone shouting, “Assist me, somebody helps me, please,” roused me from sleep.

“I peered out the window and saw a man standing there in just his boxer shorts. From the top of his head to his shoulders, he appeared to be a really strange colour.

“My doorbell rang a couple of times, and I immediately realised that it was him doing something desperate.

I eventually realised that what appeared to be clay-like material on him was actually just his skin melting.

Mark Van Dongen Before and After

The previous evening, Mr. van Dongen, 28, had made a surprise visit to Wallace’s apartment in Bristol’s affluent Westbury Park neighbourhood to confirm the end of their five-year relationship and announce his engagement to Violet Farquharson, 46.

Multiple breakups between Mr. van Dongen and Wallace were preceded by conflicting messages from him regarding their future as a couple

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Ex-girlfriend exonerated of murder with acid

The alleged threat of “prostitution in secrecy”

The attacker was instructed to commit suicide by the acid victim.

The engineer had reported Wallace, now 48, to the police in the weeks before the acid attack for threatening to kill herself and harassing and blackmailing Miss Farquharson over the course of 14 silent phone calls, according to the engineer.

In addition, he had admitted to his father that he was terrified of Wallace since the latter had previously doused him in boiling water, and coworkers had reported seeing scratches that he claimed Wallace had caused in a fit of jealous wrath.

Help me!

So it may have surprised you that he chose to spend the night in her apartment, as he would later severely regret that decision.

Thomas Sweet, a different neighbour of Wallace’s, also left his apartment armed with a golf club because he feared violence and wanted to be able to protect himself.

He said, “I heard a sound that was like foxes fighting.

“It sounded like someone screaming in pain, ‘Help me!'”

The screams also caused Eleanor Elcocks to awaken.

He was yelling and crying and pleading for help, she added, adding, “I’m going to die.”

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The neighbours accidentally led Mr. van Dongen back towards Wallace’s apartment while they dialled 999 and led him to a shower at a building on Ladysmith Road around the block.

Mr Sweet stated: “He started to cry and kept repeating, “She lives there, she lives there.”

We told him that we were taking him to a separate apartment.

According to Mr Sweet, Mr. van Dongen had terrible wounds that were obvious under the toilet light.

Mark Van Dongen Before and After

“He heard me say that the police were en route.

They must be here, he added, and she must pay.

When paramedic Dean Carter got to the scene, he discovered Mr. van Dongen suffering from chemical burns to his face, abdomen, chest, and thighs.

“I can’t see, Mr. van Dongen continued saying. He once inquired about whether he still had eyelids “He said, “Carter.”

He claimed Mr. van Dongen was foaming at the lips and covered in what seemed to be “grey-coloured paint.”

PC Thomas Green, one of the first cops on the scene, saw how Mr. van Dongen’s eyes had turned grey and added, “the irises had essentially melted.”

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He rode in the ambulance with Mr. van Dongen, who was “screaming in anguish” as he received gas and air while pointing at a tattoo that said “Berlinah” on his stomach.

He declared, “Berlinah Wallace has to serve time in prison for this.”

According to PC Green, Mr. van Dongen requested that authorities check on Miss Farquharson’s welfare.

According to PC Green, “He made reference to him being worried that Berlinah was going to go to her house.”

Wallace was sitting on her sofa when officers entered Wallace’s apartment to take her into custody.

PC She was asked what the substance she had thrown was by Mathew Griffin.

The woman “claimed it was acid and then pointed to a glass on the ground and said she had been distressing some cloth,” the officer reported.

Dr Rachel Oaten claims that Mr. van Dongen screamed bloodily upon seeing his reflection in a decontamination chamber while being transported to Southmead Hospital in Bristol.

“Kill me now, he cried. I don’t want to live if my face would remain in this state.”

Mark Van Dongen Before and After

He was left alone in intensive care for ten days while authorities searched for his family in Belgium.

Finally making it to the hospital, Bartje van Dongen didn’t recognise Mark.

Prior to being transferred to Southmead’s burns unit, Mr. van Dongen spent two months in intensive care.

Over the course of that time, he experienced excruciating pain, recurrent septic chest infections, night terrors, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to Bartje van Dongen: “He was completely out of it from the constant itching of his scars.

“All of the muscle had been eaten away from the arm, and the acid was slowly eroding the bone.

“To try to ease the suffering, my dad sat by his bed for 22 hours a day, scratching him and moving his arms.”

Kees van Dongen would travel an average of 800 miles each weekend from his home in Belgium to be by his son’s bedside, spending the night in his van in the hospital parking lot, sometimes in subzero temperatures.

His marriage to the stepmother of Mark and Bartje eventually crumbled under the pressure, and he is now impoverished. Bartje is gathering money to assist his father in starting over.

What Wallace did, according to Bartje van Dongen, damaged numerous lives.

“My dad used to be a really big man; now he’s broken,” he stated.

Finally, a family friend chipped in to pay for Mark to be sent to a hospital in Overpelt, Belgium, where his father could visit him every day.

After Mark arrived in Belgium, three medical professionals decided that he qualified for euthanasia due to his “unbearable physical and psychological pain.”

In order to provide the medications that would end his agony, a catheter was placed into his heart on January 2, 2017. He had 29 years on him.

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