I asked mum to kill me: Acid attack survivor Katie Piper reveals how mother pulled her back from the brink
14:49 GMT, 8 June 2012
Rejuvenated: Katie Piper has recovered from her horrific acid attack thanks to the support of her family
She's inspired people around the world with the way in which she's overcome a horrific acid attack but Katie Piper has revealed her inspiration is her mum, Diane.
The 28-year-old has revealed it's all thanks to the support of her mum and the rest of her family that she has been able to move on from the attack which left her painfully disfigured and wanting to die.
Katie describes the terrible moment she woke up and knew her life would never be the same in her new self-help book, Things Get Better, which is now on sale.
'I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t breathe or swallow properly. My eyelids were fused together,' she said. 'I drifted in and out of consciousness and at times I woke but thought I was dead. I was helpless and couldn’t see how I could ever be free from pain or terror.
'Weeks later I managed to use a pen and pad to scribble a few words to Mum. I wrote, 'Am I alive Help me!'
'Then Mum got incredibly upset because I wrote, 'Kill me.' At the time I truly meant it. I’d learned I was blind, half my face was missing.'
But Katie has now revealed how the support of her mum bought her back from 'rock bottom' as she nursed her back to health and stayed by her side as she's had numerous treatments to restore her appearance and eye sight.
She told The Guardian: 'My mum has come to every
operation with me. She's waited for eight hours, in a side room, with no
chair, for me to go into surgery. She's come to foreign countries with
me to have treatment, and not been able to speak to anyone. I really
hope I can be like her.'
Diane recalled to the paper how she was at first in 'a state of shock' after learning the fate of daughter on the day in 2008 that changed their lives.
Katie had been working as a model and had a bright future when spurned ex-boyfriend, Daniel Lynch, arranged for Stefan Sylvestre, to throw acid in her face.
attack on a London street melted her face, blinded her in one eye and
left her with horrific burns.
Diane was at the gym when she was called
by her husband David and told what happened and they rushed to hospital
to find their daughter was unrecognisable. She wondered how her little
girl would cope given her career as a model depended on her looks.
Invaluable support: Katie with her mother Diane in 2010
She said: 'Her whole
career, her whole future, focused on her face, and that face was forever damaged. It's like a pianist losing their
fingers, isn't it You think, well, OK, she's still here, she's still
alive, thank God – but you couldn't really see what was going to happen
after she left hospital.'
Diane said when Katie was able to go home, there was a long road ahead to help restore her confidence and ease her pain. Diane gave up her job as a primary school
teacher to care for Katie who at first needed help with everything from
eating to going to the toilet.
As well as the physical damage, the
attack had left Katie fearful of going out in public and her self-esteem
was at had all time low as she hated seeing her scarred face, which she
had to cover with a protective mask for two years.
'You feel helpless as a parent because you can't fix it,' Diane admitted.
Shattered dreams: Katie had a promising career as a model before her attack, left, and her mother wondered how she would cope living with her scars
One way she was able to help was by keeping a photographic diary of Katie's progress. The pictures tracked how Katie's appearance changed as she had pioneering treatments and operations to restore her face, giving her daughter hope that things were getting better.
Katie said the pictures kept her strong. 'If I ever felt depressed when the treatment had finished, I could look at the photos and think, I've come so far,' she said.
Four years on, Katie has been
transformed. She has a stunning new brunette look, a TV deal with
Channel 4 and her self-help book is the second she's had published
following on from her autobiography.
Hope: Diane kept a picture diary of Katie throughout her treatments so she could show her daughter how far she's come
How she has overcome her problems has made her an inspiration to people around the world who have written to her for help with their problems from low self-esteem to dealing with rape.
Katie and Diane's attitude to the perpetrators of their ill-fortune is also inspirational. Lynch and Sylvestre have been jailed for life nd Diane said she doesn't 'waste energy' thinking about them.
'What's done is done, we can't change that, but we can change the way we cope with it,' she said.