This 24-year-old was an up-and-coming TV personality and model when the brutal tragedy struck: A paid hitman approached her and threw sulfuric acid in her face. But this talented young woman has overcome mountains and now, at the age of 34, wishes to help others through sharing her story.
The assailant who changed Katie Piper’s life forever, Stefan Sylvestre, was hired by Daniel Lynch, a man she dated for just 2 weeks before the relationship ended. Prior to the attack, Daniel and Katie spent a night together in a hotel, where Daniel raped and physically assaulted her, an incident which caused Katie so much trauma that she feared for her life afterward.
Katie managed to get out of the hotel alive, though Daniel threatened that if she breathed a word of what happened, he would kill her family and friends
Yet, she could not keep the incident a secret, and she told her roommate what had happened
From the time she left Lynch, he began texting and calling her like crazy, asking if she had told anyone about what had happened, and telling her to just keep quiet. This went on 24 hours a day until their last conversation, when Daniel told her to go to a nearby internet cafe to check the Facebook message he sent her.
That’s when tragedy struck… Sylvestre, the man Lynch hired, approached her while on the street and splashed sulfuric acid into her face
Eventually, both Lynch and Sylvestre were apprehended, convicted, and sentenced to life imprisonment (Daniel received two life sentences) with eligibility for parole after 60 years. This was some comfort for Katie and her family, though she would never be the same ever again.
Yet, it seems Katie was handed a life sentence too: a life filled with physical and mental anguish, doubts, and fears.
The attack had severely damaged her eyes, ears, nose, and throat, and left her face badly disfigured
While in the hospital, Katie underwent numerous procedures to save parts of her body damaged most by the acid, especially her left eye, which lost all sight.
She was put into an induced coma for 12 days, while they started the skin graft procedures. She then had to wear a plastic mask for 23 hours every day. In total, Katie has had 40 operations to treat her injuries.
There were times when Katie wanted to give up. She even wrote a note to her mom while she was at the hospital asking her mom to kill her. Instead, Katie’s mom, Diane, began keeping a journal of her daughter’s healing process as a form of encouragement for the young woman, who seemed to have lost all hope.
“I wanted to show her that this wasn’t the end,” her mom said. “This was just the beginning, and she would get better. And there was the proof.”
Although the healing process was very painful and tedious, Katie endured it all
With the help of her friends and family, she pushed forward and got through the horrible ordeal.
A year after the incident, Katie founded the Katie Piper Foundation to push for more support for burn victims. She then went on to become a published author, writing her own biography. She also shared her story on TV programs such as “This Morning,” “Loose Women,” “Bodyshockers” and “Never Seen A Doctor,” to name a few.
Now 34, Katie has become a motivational speaker, helping acid attack victims like herself. She shares her story of survival and how people shouldn’t be too obsessed with self-image. She is inspiring and helping them to move on in life and to realize that there is always a rainbow after the rain is over.
Katie is now happily married to Richard Sutton and has been blessed with a beautiful daughter named Belle
“The whole chapter of getting married and having a baby was something I had hoped for—but I knew it was a luxury and it doesn’t happen to everybody,” Katie said
“I felt even more joyful because I wasn’t sure if it was something I’d be privileged enough to experience”