Brave acid attack survivor Katie Piper has eye-sight restored after stem-cell surgery
Winning again: Katie Piper is enjoying having her sight back following acid attack in 2008
A former model and television presenter who was left partially blind in one eye after an acid attack has had her sight restored following stem-cell surgery.
Katie Piper, 29, suffered third degree burns and had to have her face reconstructed after the attack in 2008, when her spurned ex-boyfriend, Daniel Lynch, 35, arranged for Stefan Sylvestre, 22, to throw acid in her face.
The incident left her scarred for life and damaged her left eye.
Katie has had hundreds of plastic surgery operations, including skin grafts to remould the skin around her eyes.
She also had to wear a mask for 23 hours a day to stretch her scar tissue.
But her sight has now been restored thanks to doctors at the Queen Victoria hospital in East Grinstead, West Sussex, who used eye tissue from the cornea of an anonymous male donor.
The cells then grew and three weeks later were stitched into Piper’s damaged eye.
Her eye was then covered with amniotic membrane – womb lining donated by women who have had caesarean births which acted as a bandage.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Katie said: ‘It has been an amazing feeling.
‘It wasn’t like I took the bandage off and my sight came back like that, it happened gradually.
Inspiration: Ex-model and TV presenter Katie Piper who had acid thrown into her face
‘But after three weeks I started to see results. I’d seen a lot of progress with my scars, but my sight was the one injury I’d say to myself was permanent and least expected to change. I do feel like I’m winning.’
Sheraz Daya, the surgeon who led the team, has successfully treated more than 60 patients with the procedure.
He said: ‘Our goal is to make sure the cornea heals. The best part of it is that it begins to clear and sight is restored.’
Katie: The Science of Seeing Again will be shown on Channel 4 at 9pm on Tuesday.