Katie Piper says she will ‘never take for granted’ the support from the public as she recovers from emergency surgery.
The presenter, activist and Loose Women panelist was forced to undergo emergency surgery on her eye this week after being left in ‘extreme pain.’
Katie, 38, was left with horrific injuries after being the victim of a horrific acid attack organised by her ex-boyfriend 14 years ago, some effects of which last to this day.
On Tuesday, Katie revealed she underwent surgery after her husband ‘noticed a small black circle in my blind eye.’
She said she was initially ‘excited thinking I had a pupil again,’ but after experiencing extreme pain went to an eye specialist and learned the circle was a hole in her eye and it had perforated.
Now the star is back at work after taking just a few days to recover, and, as positive as ever, has thanked fans for their support.
‘It’s my first day back at work since my emergency transplant,’ a smiling Katie said.
‘I’m super excited, I’m about to film my breakfast show… I haven’t had makeup on since before being in hospital so not an easy job for makeup artists!
‘I’ve had to leave my eye totally untouched, so no lashes, no eye makeup because I’m still prone to infections and I don’t want to get a haemorrhage or anything.
‘Not my usual look but I’m feeling good, I’m feeling confident and I’m so happy to be back at work!
‘And also guys – thank you so much for all the messages. I literally came out of the operating theatre and turned my phone on and [there were] so many lovely messages from all you guys.
‘I really appreciate it and never take it for granted.’
The star was again flooded with well-wishes from the public, with one person calling her ‘an inspiration to everyone.’
‘You are just so awesome,’ another said. ‘Gorgeous, beautiful and absolutely a diamond! Recover well and keep smiling.’
One person who went through a similar issue to Katie wrote: ‘I lost my eye years ago and have struggled with make up due to my eyes looking so different but you are so inspirational.’
Following the horrific attack on her life, Katie was determined to come back stronger, and later released a documentary, Katie Piper: My Beautiful Face, to raise awareness about facial disfigurements and tell her story.
She has since carved a major career in TV and launched the Katie Piper Foundation, which helps other burns victims, for which she was awarded an OBE.
On a recent episode of Loose Women, Katie told her story from the beginning – from her idyllic childhood to rebuilding her life after her assault.
‘How people reacted was my motivation to do the documentary,’ she revealed.
‘Initially, I looked very different to how I sit here today, I wore a face mask for two years, I had a shaved head, a very purple/red appearance.
‘People reacted by asking me to leave shops, shouting at me in the street.
‘I wasn’t famous, I wasn’t known, people didn’t understand why I wore a mask.’
She explained that, rather than hiding herself away, she ‘wanted to explain to people why I looked this way, educate people, relieve myself of that isolation.’
The ever-optimistic Katie said that trauma is a fact of life, but it needn’t be a life sentence.’
Reflecting on what gave her the strength to live her life to the fullest, she said: ‘I fought so hard to live in ICU, what was the point if I’m not gonna go out and grab it with both hands?’
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