Survival Trainers

How I Survived an Acid Attack (Katie Piper story)

Play Video

Survival Trainers
Just one second after a stranger accosted her on the street, Katie Piper’s face was burning in pain. “Burning. I was burning really badly, and I knew my face was falling off.” She had been attacked with sulfuric acid, an extremely corrosive chemical used in the making of explosives and other heavy chemicals.

The 25-year-old had just left her apartment in London to check her email at a nearby internet cafe when the stranger approached her. Thinking he might be asking for money, Katie began searching in her purse for coins. Little did she know, her life was about to change. As pieces of her face

Fell to the ground, the model and TV presenter felt the life she had worked so hard to achieve slipping away. Was this a random attack? Who would’ve wanted to hurt her in this way? And, if she survived, would she ever be safe? In excruciating pain, with her sight deteriorating rapidly,

Katie managed to run to a nearby cafe and ask for help. She tried to wash off the acid with water, but it continued to penetrate every layer of her skin, severely damaging her entire face and neck. Her throat, tongue, and hands were also badly injured. At the moment of the attack,

Katie was on the phone with her ex-boyfriend – steroid addict and martial arts fighter Danny Lynch. The 33-year-old man heard every second of her horrifying experience, listening carefully to each one of Katie’s agonizing screams. “And Danny stayed on the phone and listened the whole time. He never hung up.” Katie had

Recently broken up with Danny, and in retaliation, he convinced one of his friends, 19-year-old Stefan Sylvestre, to perpetrate the horrendous attack. As Katie was fighting for her life in the hospital, despite their best efforts, the doctors couldn’t guarantee her survival to her parents. If she did survive, what would her life be like?

Could she resume her career as a model and TV host? And what about the criminals? Would they ever be brought to justice? Katie Piper grew up in England, south of London, dreaming of becoming a model and TV personality. Around the age of 20, she began modeling and even became a finalist

In beauty contests before moving to London, where she quickly started getting gigs as a TV presenter. “Good afternoon. We’re here in London’s heart of the West End with the star of King of Kommunications, Stew Castledine.” However, this early success would also bring her closer to horror. After seeing Katie on TV,

Danny Lynch became obsessed with her and started looking for ways to get to her until he found her on Facebook in November 2008. After exchanging some messages, they started dating, but things quickly spiraled out of control. Katie discovered that Danny was a violent and controlling man and decided to end the relationship

Just two weeks after it began. When she told him it was over, the martial arts expert became unhinged and subjected her to eight hours of physical and sexual abuse. When it finally ended, Katie was devastated and confused. Danny threatened to slice her face with a knife and kill her, but she convinced him

To let her go, promising not to report him to the police. He released her but continued to bombard her with messages and calls. Finally, one day in March of 2008, he promised that if she would read an email that he had sent her, he would leave her alone forever.

Afraid of what he might do if she refused, Katie agreed. Danny kept pressuring her to go immediately to the internet cafe and check the email. While on the phone with Danny, she left her apartment and walked toward the cafe, unknowingly approaching Stefan Sylvestre, whom Danny had hired to attack her.

Amidst all the confusion and pain that Katie was going through, she wasn’t afraid of the man approaching her. Instead, she reached for coins in her purse to give him as she talked to Danny on the phone. One second later, everything changed forever. After ten days in a coma and over two months

In hospital, doctors managed to save Katie’s life. But the hardest part of her ordeal was just beginning. “She wrote things on this clipboard they’d given her. Things like: ‘Am I blind? Where am I? Am I dead?’ And then she wrote, ‘Kill Me’.” All layers of her skin were burnt, so her surgeon

Decided to remove her face entirely and create a new foundation using collagen and elastin from cow tissue. Then reconstructed her features using portions of skin from other parts of her body. “This is my biggest shock to my system. I seen some minor type of facial acid done, but not something so gruesome.”

After years of recovery and more than 400 surgeries, Katie’s face now resembles the young girl who was savagely attacked. “I did have this terrible attack, yeah. I do look totally different physically. But I want to be the woman that got through that and is now living, not the woman that

‘oh, she was attached to this terrible- don’t mention this, she can’t do that anymore. She doesn’t go there, but you know shhh.’ I want to be rid of that and just be Katie.” It’s fair to say that over the years, it’s her perception of beauty that has changed the most. As her physical

And emotional wounds began to heal, Katie was able to return to her career as a TV host and give a voice to other acid attack victims, showing how people can find beauty after such a harrowing experience. “You know, you’re going to be judged and you know that

You are not the norm in society. I’ve gained acceptance of myself.” She’s also published best-selling books about her experience. She uses her charitable foundation to vigorously defend burn victims and prevent further acid attacks in the UK and around the world. “Sometimes in life you have to let go

Of what you thought should happen and live in what is happening. And then, you know, when you have a support network and you let people in, you move forward and you start to live in the present tense. Not the past, not the future. And that’s a more healthy place to be.”

Regarding the thugs, both were caught and sentenced to life in prison in 2009. However, Stefan Sylvestre was released on parole in 2018, and authorities believe he may have fled the country. As for Danny Lynch, despite his life sentence, he could get parole in 2025. Unfortunately,

Katie Piper is not the only TV personality who has endured sexual violence and harassment. There’s an organization that survivors claim has covered up several cases involving celebrities. Would you like to know how the world of Scientology works? Find out more here on How to Survive.

Scroll to Top