Channel 4 – Katie: My Beautiful Friends
After gradually recovering from her trauma and fighting all her internal demons, she managed to get back on track with her radically changed lifestyle. The four-part documentary sheds light on the mass-appealing plan of Katie Piper to change the attitude and perspective of society about facing people with severe disfigurement. It is indeed more than just a reality TV series that offers a brief presentation of the special bonds Katie ties with her new friends. Katie: My Beautiful Friends is in fact the context for Katie’s plan to set up a charity and help other individuals, who struggle with the same problem. In spite of tackling the story of only a few people, it is more important to see the world-moving project behind the whole story.
The series Katie: My Beautiful Friends presents the events of only one year, a period during which Katie meets these special people. Furthermore, the audience has the chance to keep track of the painful treatment Katie still needs to follow, even after two years that passed from the date of the attack. The documentary offers us the privilege to witness how a person can fight all the insecurities and spiritual bruises caused by an unimaginably cruel event.
Those who are keen to join Katie on this uplifting journey had the chance to watch the first programme of the series. The initial story portrays Katie Piper who meets two other young women struck by a similar personal drama. Facing their own vulnerability as well as the petrified glimpses coming from their entourage is a common goal that ties these ladies. The story is different, the lesson and experience…almost the same.
Adele, a former ballet student suffering from epilepsy, had a sudden fit in the shower. Accidentally knocking the tap as she fell was the move that generated her disfigurement. The hot water burned nearly half of her upper body. In spite of the reconstructive and emergency treatment at the specialist burns unit in Chelmsford, her body still carries the visible marks of this trauma. Adele is now nineteen and she had to face the ugly truth that with a similar physical imperfection her chances to become a professional ballet dancer are close to zero. However, Katie has the answer for all her prayers and witnesses how the young dancer wins back her confidence and nails down a part in a play in Edinburgh.
The next story reveals the drama of Chantelle. The 23-year-old girl was born with a special health condition called arteriovenous malformation (AVM), meaning that a group of blood vessels deep in her nose completely disfigure her face and more, this condition is also threatening Chantelle’s life. Besides ruining her self-image, her insecurities also have a damaging impact on her marriage with her partner Brett. Home seems the only refuge for the young girl and she has great hopes that someday the treatment will grant her with a brand new life. In her childhood and teenage years she was often bullied for her look. First, it seemed that a facial birthmark that spread across her face was the main culprit for her disfigurement. Yet, soon she was diagnosed with this rare condition, as a real threat to her life. Intense treatment and radical surgery are the only methods to save Chantelle, however, this series of operations might leave her without a nose.
Additionally, the audience has the chance to follow Katie on her trip to Istanbul for the most important surgery since the attack. Using fat injections to restore the fat that was completely burned due to the harsh effect of acid, is the method Professor Erol uses to polish the contours of Katie’s complexion and also help her close her eyes properly. But the pleasure of turning back to England is soon blown away by the news related to the man who envisioned the whole diabolic attack on Katie. It turns out that her ex-boyfriend is appealing against the life sentence he received earlier. Keep an eye on the upcoming parts of the series to see the miraculous rebirth and personal drama of these special people helped by Katie Piper.