Katie Piper had an amazing future ahead of her. She had recently moved to London to pursue a career in modelling and TV presenting when she was in her early twenties. At this point in time, there was no stopping Katie. She was living in an apartment with some friends and loving life. One night Katie was looking through her Facebook page when a friend request from a man named Danny Lynch came through. She wouldn’t normally accept strangers but Katie noticed that they had many mutual friends so she accepted and they began talking. The pair talked for a couple of weeks and Katie thought that he seemed like the perfect guy for her. One night Danny suggested that the two finally meet in person so they met at a Cage Rage party a few days later. They clicked straight away and things went from there.
Katie and Danny had been seeing each other for a few weeks and everything seemed to be going well. One day the pair were in town together, just casually browsing through the shops. Earlier that day Katie had noticed that Danny seemed to be ‘on edge’ a bit but didn’t think anything of it. They were moving through the shops and as time went on, Danny seemed to be getting more and more angry. After a while he was yelling at shopkeepers, completely losing his temper and even yelling at Katie. She was very surprised by this sudden change of behavior, but decided to let it go.
A few days after this incident, Danny suggested the two book a hotel room together. Katie agreed and arrived at the hotel later that night. Once again, Danny completely lost his temper. He pushed Katie up against the door and she was knocked unconscious for hours. When Katie finally woke up she had a bad wound to her head and she found herself tied to the bed.
Later that night, Katie was brutally raped. Afterwards she begged Danny to let her go. Finally, he gave in.
Following this incident, Danny would call Katie every 10-15 minutes – all day, everyday. He wanted to know what she was wearing, where she was and who she was with. Katie wasn’t comfortable answering these questions but she couldn’t go to the police because he threatened to come and get her if she told.
On one particular day Danny was ringing Katie more than usual. Her phone connection wasn’t very good so he suggested that she should go downstairs to the coffee shop to get better reception. On her way down, he kept asking exactly where she was and double-checking what she was wearing. As Katie crossed the road to get to the coffee shop, a man with a hoodie approached her holding a cup out. Katie thought he was a homeless man asking for money so her being the person she is, reached into her handbag to find her purse. As Katie lifted her head up, the man threw the cups contents onto her. Katie presumed it was coffee but soon after, she realized it was acid.
Katie ran into the coffee shop screaming for help. People didn’t know what to do, they just stood there watching as her face melted in front of their eyes. She ran around trying to find something to stop the pain. Katie found a bucket of iced water but it was too small to put over her head. Her only option was to go into the toilets and put her head in one – but this didn’t ease the pain at all. At this point, the acid had gone into Katie’s eyes and she was slowly losing her vision. She felt for her phone in her handbag, pulled it out and pressed the button that redialed the last person that she had called, which was one of her best friends. Her friend came and got her and took her to hospital.
Katie Piper’s life has never been the same since. The skin on her face, neck and chest was melted down to the bone. Her modelling and TV presenting career was gone in a matter of seconds. Katie went through years of surgery, operations and counselling. She was such a brave girl, but it wasn’t always that way. After the attack Katie asked her Mum to kill her because she believed her life wasn’t worth living anymore. When Katie was released from hospital, she was frightened of any man wearing dark clothes or a hooded jumper. She was willing to give up on life so many times, but managed to push through it all.
Danny Lynch and Stefan Sylvestre – the man who threw the acid at Katie, both received life sentences. They deserve to be in jail for the rest of their lives for destroying a beautiful young girl’s hopes and dreams.
Katie started the Katie Piper Foundation in 2009 to raise money and make it easier for people with burns and scars. She has won countless awards for her charity, bravery and also her best selling books ‘Beautiful’ and ‘Things Get Better.’ Katie is such an inspirational woman and living proof that we can get through anything with enough determination and support around us.
At the lowest point in Katie’s life, she felt like taking her life would be the easiest way out. She was able to get through it, and anyone out there feeling the same way can too. Personally, I think that having your face completely melted and your perfect career destroyed is the worst thing that could happen to anyone. You might think your life is hard sometimes, and it probably is! But can it compare with what Katie had to go through? Even if it can, it is never going to be the end of the world. Life is tough and a little setback isn’t worth taking your life over. It is never the answer.
We all have something to live for. Even when Katie’s life was ruined, she found a way to pull through. She is my inspiration. I encourage all of you to read her two books, they are amazing and so inspiring!
‘If you believe, you will survive.’ – Katie Piper