Katie Piper is now a best selling international author, inspirational speaker, TV presenter and charity campaigner.She is also a young woman who has rebuilt her life after surviving a brutal attack in March 2008 at the age of 24, in which she was raped and had sulphuric acid thrown in her face.She spent 2 months in the Burns Unit at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital where she was placed in an induced coma in intensive care.
Katie’s surgeon Mr Mohammad Ali Jawad and his team performed pioneering surgery on Katie. They chose to remove the dead layers of skin from Katie’s face and rebuild the foundations of it using a dermal substitute called Matriderm along with skin grafts from her back and buttocks. It was the first of its kind in the world to be done as a single stage operation.
Katie then went to an intensive burn rehabilitation unit in France to undertake a long period of scar management techniques.
She had to wear a plastic pressure mask for 23 hours a day for two years as part of her treatment. Her injuries also meant that she needed to be fed through a tube in her stomach as reforming scar tissue in her throat restricted her ability to eat and drink. The acid also left her blinded in one eye.
Just over a year after the attack, Katie made the decision to give up her anonymity and share her story in a remarkable film for the Cutting Edge strand on Channel 4 called ‘Katie: My Beautiful Face’. which was watched by over 3.5million viewers and nominated for Best Single Documentary at the BAFTA Television Awards in 2010.
In 2009 she went on to set up her own charity The Katie Piper Foundation. Simon Cowell supported Katie in her mission by becoming the patron and remains actively involved to date. The charity’s vision is a world where scars do not limit a person’s function, social inclusion or sense of well being.
The charity’s aims are to:-
- improve outcomes for burns survivors
- deliver – directly or indirectly – intensive, comprehensive burns rehabilitation (post acute care discharge)) in the UK
- support burns survivors throughout their journey of recovery
- progress a deep understanding of the context in which the Foundation acts (the burns care world) and of the key stakeholders
- develop key relationships, collaborations associations and partnerships.
The Katie Piper Foundation helps people with burns and scars to reconnect with their lives and their communities
Since then, Katie’s life and career has gone from strength to strength. She has gone on to make a number of TV shows both here in the UK and internationally, she has written 3 number one best-selling books and her original autobiography has been translated into several different languages. Her documentaries and books have sold around the world in Africa, Australia, America, South America, Asia, Middle East and Central and Eastern Europe. A follow up to “Beautiful” called “Beautiful Ever After” will be released in the Autumn of 2014.
Katie has been described as an inspirational role model, and her bravery and determination have been recognised by being nominated and receiving a number of awards.
She was voted Woman of the Year 2011 and most recently received a special recognition award at The Pride of Britain Awards in London.
Katie began a regular column in Reveal magazine from April 2011 to July 2012. In October 2012 she began her second stint as a columnist, writing weekly for Now magazine; this column ran until January 2014. She has also written occasional one-off ‘guest columns’ for newspapers including the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday People.