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Katie Piper details her 'pioneering' NHS skin graft 'from a cow' following horrific injuries


‘My face is made out of a cow’: Katie Piper candidly details ‘pioneering’ NHS skin graft she received following horrific injuries from an acid attack

Katie Piper has explained how NHS surgeons rebuilt her face ‘from a cow’ with use of ‘pioneering’ skin graft following the 2008 acid attack, organised by her ex-boyfriend.

The Loose Women panellist, 38, who suffered horrific injuries to her face, chest arms and hands, including being blinded in one eye, detailed her extensive procedures.  

She has since undergone over 400 surgeries and revealed that her ‘old face’ was ‘removed’ and replaced with the skin grafts and other parts of her body. 

'My face is made out of a cow': Katie Piper, 38, has candidly detailed the ‘pioneering’ NHS skin graft she received following horrific injuries from an acid attack

‘My face is made out of a cow’: Katie Piper, 38, has candidly detailed the ‘pioneering’ NHS skin graft she received following horrific injuries from an acid attack

Speaking to Lorraine Kelly and her daughter, Rosie, on their What if? Podcast, she said: ‘My burn went through the muscle and down to the skeleton, so it was a very, very deep burn.

‘Because it’s a corrosive substance, you think with fire you can put it out and maybe minimise the damage, but with me all four layers of the skin were destroyed.

‘This foundation is made from collagen and elastin taken from a cow. Queue all the moody cow jokes! My face is made out of a cow,’ she laughed.

Strong: Katie said: 'My burn went through the muscle and down to the skeleton, so it was a very, very deep burn...all four layers of the skin were destroyed'

Strong: Katie said: ‘My burn went through the muscle and down to the skeleton, so it was a very, very deep burn…all four layers of the skin were destroyed’

Brave: She suffered horrific injuries to her face, chest arms and hands, including being blinded in one eye and has undergone over 400 procedures (pictured in 2009)

Brave: She suffered horrific injuries to her face, chest arms and hands, including being blinded in one eye and has undergone over 400 procedures (pictured in 2009)

Going into detail she explained: ‘What I had to do was have all of my old face removed because the tissue was dead and would have gotten infected.’  

She then detailed how her entire face was reconstructed using other parts of her body as doctors took a large skin graft from her mid back to her bottom. 

Katie said: ‘They had to start from the beginning with a man-made dermal substitute. I always think of the analogy of a house, when you get the foundations before you get the bricks and the scaffolding.’ 

Candid: 'This foundation is made from collagen and elastin taken from a cow. Queue all the moody cow jokes! My face is made out of a cow,' she laughed

Candid: ‘This foundation is made from collagen and elastin taken from a cow. Queue all the moody cow jokes! My face is made out of a cow,’ she laughed

Jokingly she added that she never realised ‘how hairy her bum was’ until the skin was used to cover her face and chest. 

Katie added that her nose was crafted from her upper right rib, her eyelids from her groin and she had hair transplants to form her eyebrows.  

The mother-of-two praised the NHS, who provided all of her treatment and surgeries, for their ‘amazing work.’ 

In 2010, Katie, founded the Katie Piper Foundation, a charity which helps burn survivors recover as she works to inspire other survivors.   

Extensive: Going into detail she explained: 'What I had to do was have all of my old face removed because the tissue was dead and would have gotten infected' (Pictured before the attack)

Extensive: Going into detail she explained: ‘What I had to do was have all of my old face removed because the tissue was dead and would have gotten infected’ (Pictured before the attack)

Katie was awarded an OBE in the New Years honors list for her services to charity and victims of disfigurement injuries. 

Speaking at the time, she said that she will never stop championing inclusion as she works to raise awareness within the beauty industry.   

She explained: ‘I was born able bodied without any visible difference until my twenties. So I had the experience of living both lives. When you do become part of that minority, you become acutely aware that you’re never sold to, you’re never targeted by the beauty industry and advertising. 

‘It’s not about them wanting to see a burn survivor on telly. It’s about them wanting to see something that says, ‘You are okay as you are.’ 

Inspirational: Katie was awarded an OBE in the New Years honors list for her services to charity and victims of disfigurement injuries

Inspirational: Katie was awarded an OBE in the New Years honors list for her services to charity and victims of disfigurement injuries

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