Fulton County, Georgia – In April 2013, Christy Sims tried to break up with her abusive boyfriend, Andrew Fordham.
When he sensed the relationship was over, he doused her with industrial grade drain cleaner that contained 93 percent pure sulfuric acid.
Christy’s mom never liked Andrew and thought the relationship was doomed from the start. However, Christy still forged ahead.
Crime Watch Daily:
“He had a very aggressive personality,” Christy said. “He was emotionally abusive at times. In retrospect, I didn’t realize I was in that situation while I was in it. And we broke up for a long time, and he begged me to come back, and I went back. You know, it’s the cycle of abuse. I was in it, I can admit it now. I’m woman enough to admit that I was in that situation.”
A successful substance-abuse counselor, and raising two children on her own, Christy Sims had just completed coursework to receive her master’s degree.
“I was 42 years old but I went back to get a graduate degree, I finished in two years and I’m the first woman in my family to go to college, so you know I didn’t want to walk, ’cause you know all these young kids, they’re walking and I’m 42 years old, you know, going back to school, but my mom was like ‘No, you’re gonna walk, this is huge, you’re gonna have a party, we’re gonna have a graduation,” Christy said.
She also felt it was time to move on from Andrew.
“She was beginning to see him as being a little too possessive and a little, you know, over the top,” said Henry County, Georgia District Attorney Sandi Rivers.
Sims was at home in 2013 when she was called to the bathroom by her boyfriend, asking her to bring a towel.
She testified in court, when she approached the door, Fordham was slipping around on a water puddle, holding a yellow bowl. She said a moment later, he lunged toward her in the hallway, throwing sulfuric acid drain cleaner onto her face, chest and arms.
“I can’t describe the pain. It’s worse than any childbirth I’ve ever had. Instinctively, because my eyes were burning, I went right to the sink and started rinsing my eyes,” Sims said
After being doused and disfigured with burns on more than 20 percent of her body, Christy was placed in a medical coma.
She woke up two months later, and doctors told her what happened was accidental. An investigation wasn’t even being done.
Christy couldn’t believe Andrew’s lie had stuck. She was quick to report the truth: she was attacked.
“I was in a coma for two months and no one even entered my home to investigate,” she said. “Sometimes it felt like they were working against me.
” I woke up blind, unable to walk, unable to move my arms because the acid affected the nerves in my arms,” said Christy. “I had to have intense occupational and physical therapy for months before I could even walk, or use my arms, bathe myself, and slowly, over time, my eyesight did come back.”
She pressed charges. Andrew Fordham was sentenced to 20 years in prison. But Christy will live with what he did to her body for the rest of her life.
“I was a pretty woman. He definitely wanted to disfigure me,” she says. “He wanted me to be unattractive to any other man.”
SIMS’ LEGAL TRIUMPH COMES AFTER SHE UNDERWENT 13 PAINFUL SURGERIES.
Sims said Fordham knew that she was planning on leaving him when he pretended to slip and splash an industrial-strength drain cleaner on her face, neck, arms and chest.
As she screamed in pain and begged him to call 911, she said Fordham refused to help rinse her off.
Instead, he claimed that washing her off would only intensify the chemicals, a claim which countered what a 911 dispatcher told him on the phone only moments before, Sims said.
“He calmly said, ‘They said to sit down and wait for the ambulance because if you rinse yourself off, you’re going to ignite the chemical,’” she previously recalled to WSB-TV.
When paramedics finally arrived they hosed her down, but by then her skin was left permanently scarred.
After sentencing, Sims said:
“In the process of all this legal stuff, I had had my face taken off and put back on every couple of months,” Sims said. “You know what I’m saying? I should be able to rest.”
Asked if the pain and damage he inflicted is something she’d feel justified by him experiencing as well, she readily said no.
“What he did to me was so inhumane,” she told the news. “There’s no way I would ever do what he did.”
Asked if she has anything to say to Fordham, a man she had to face every day in court, she said no.
“I don’t have anything to say to him because I don’t think he has any remorse,” she said.
But she does have a message to other domestic abuse victims: “Don’t ever give up. Tell your story until someone listens.”
“Share my story in order to help others. Right now, as I type this, there are people out there about to enter a relationship with a violent person,” Christy writes. “There’s someone living their own horror story right now who thinks things might get better if they just ‘try harder.’ And, there are plenty of people out there who may not be on the verge of an unhealthy relationship but they’re on the track to one. Please share my story. You just might reach one of these people before it’s too late.”
At his sentencing her boyfriend apologized and said it was an accident.