Acid Attack Victim Thanks Chelsea and Westminster

Katie tells her story on Channel 4 tonight

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Katie Piper and Mr Jawad

Channel 4 - Katie: My Beautiful Face

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

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A woman who was the victim of a vicious acid attack has thanked Chelsea and Westminster Hospital staff who saved her life and who are now helping to rebuild her face.

Katie Piper, a model and aspiring TV presenter who suffered horrific burns in the attack on March 31 last year, tells her amazing story in the Cutting Edge documentary Katie: My Beautiful Face on Channel 4 at 9pm tonight, October 29.

Katie, 26 was walking along Golders Green High Street when a man acting on the direction of a vengeful ex-boyfriend threw sulphuric acid over her. Both men, Daniel Lynch and the attacker, Stefan Sylvestre, have since been jailed for life.

The depth of the burns from the acid penetrated all layers of the skin on Katie’s face and elsewhere on her body. The extent of her burns was so severe that they destroyed all four layers of the skin down to the fat.

At Chelsea and Westminster, surgeon Mr Mohammad Jawad used an artificial skin substitute to rebuild the epidermis and dermis layers on Katie’s face before grafting skin from her back and bottom onto her face.

Katie says: " I owe my life to the doctors, nurses and all the other staff in the Burns Service at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. I would have died without their amazing efforts immediately after I was attacked and over the last 18 months they have supported me every step of the way during my treatment.

" Coming to terms with the fact that my life as I knew it before the acid attack was over, and that my facial appearance had changed forever, has been incredibly difficult. I wouldn’t have been able to rebuild my life without the support of all the staff.

" I want to say thank you to everyone in the Burns Service, in particular my surgeon Mohammad Jawad who has done an amazing job of rebuilding my face – it has exceeded my expectations of what I ever thought would be medically possibly. I’m absolutely thrilled."

Mr Jawad says: " Katie has shown great courage and determination to survive her terrible injuries and to start rebuilding her life. It has been my privilege as Katie’s surgeon to work with this remarkable young woman.

" Her care was a real team effort, involving not only Burns specialists but also staff in our Intensive Care Unit, gastroenterology and eye departments, and many other areas of the hospital."

Mr Greg Williams, Service Lead of the Burns Service at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, says: " As the only specialist Burns Service in London, we treat many patients like Katie who have suffered horrific injuries.

" Surgery and ongoing treatment is a long and painful journey for these patients and our role is to provide not only medical and nursing expertise to heal their injuries but also empathy, compassion and emotional support.

" Burns medicine is a little-known specialty which isn’t often in the public eye and so I hope the forthcoming Channel 4 documentary will help public awareness of this vital NHS service."

October 29, 2009