Surgeons performed pioneering surgery on Katie. They chose to control the damage by removing the dead layers of skin from Katie’s face and rebuilding the foundations using a dermal substitute called Matriderm along with huge 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 spent seven weeks in the burns unit at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. She was placed in an induced coma and spent ten days in intensive care. She wore a special plastic pressure mask for 23 hours a day for two years, in an effort to flatten her scars.
In May 2009 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’. The programme, supported by a huge press campaign, first aired in November 2009 to critical acclaim. Katie went on to deliver Channel 4's alternative to the Queen's Christmas Day broadcast.
Recently, Katie set up the Katie Piper Foundation to improve rehabilitation facilities for burns survivors while providing a network of support and information on burns, scars and treatment, both medical and non-medical. This has been followed by a four part series for Channel 4 which will be broadcast at the beginning of next year. Katie launched the charity in July 2010 with Simon Cowell as patron. Katie is also writing her autobiography which will be published early next year.
Katie was absolutely brilliant, totally inspirational and a really lovely person. She made our day by coming along, the feed-back has been brilliant. Anita Mathieson – Inspiration 4 Ability