Like most people, I first heard about Katie Piper just over two years ago, when her documentary Katie: My Beautiful Face aired on Channel 4 in late 2009. The programme showed us the horrific acid attack that almost killed her, and then documented her subsequent road to recovery.
2011 saw a follow up series, Katie: My Beautiful Friends, which brought us up-to-date with Katie’s progress, informed us about her new charity – The KP Foundation – and introduced us to some of the burns victims that the charity would be helping.
Then on Tuesday night, Channel 4 aired a new documentary Katie: The Science of Seeing Again, and this third invitation into Katie’s private life was just as interesting and inspiring as the previous two. It followed Katie as she prepared to undergo stem-cell surgery on her blind eye, talked about the 109 operations she has already had, and also showed her visiting the States as she considered an alternative option and the ethics behind that procedure.
While the programme was airing, the Twitter hashtag #katiethescienceofseeingagain was brimming with praise for Katie, and “Katie Piper” was trending as people filled the social-media site with positive tweets about the documentary. I’ve been following @Katiepiper_ on Twitter since she made her story public, and I think the reason people have warmed to her so much is that she never fails to come across as anything but a normal girl trying to lead a normal life. She tweets about being late, clothes, shoes and other insignificant stuff like that. She doesn’t harp on about being a victim or feeling sorry for herself, which is commendable given her story. The documentary supported this; she was once again portrayed as being a genuine and caring person.
The programme ended well for Katie; she had started to regain some sight. It is fantastic that such a tragic story can have such a positive outcome. To be able to inspire and enlighten so many people, Katie has proved she really is a brave and selfless individual. It really was a heartwarming watch for a cold February evening.