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Last updated: 18 november, 2009 - 18:48 GMT

"My Hero"

After being cruelly disfigured in an acid attack masterminded by a jealous boyfriend, model Katie Piper talks fondly of the man she calls “my hero” – pioneering plastic surgeon Mohammed Ali Jawad.

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Two years ago, Katie Piper had her whole life ahead of her - she was 24 years old, working as a model and TV presenter, and enjoying life as a young woman in London.

But then something happened which was to change her life forever.

A jealous ex-boyfriend she had met on an internet site sent an accomplice to throw acid in her face.

Katie was left fighting for her life and suffering from horrific, disfiguring burns to her face, chest and arms.

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In the course of the last 24 months, Katie has had to endure more than 30 operations.

But when she talks of the surgeon who re-built her face she smiles with gratitude and calls him “my hero.”

His name is Doctor Mohammad Ali Jawad.

Dr Jawad is a Consultant Plastic, Reconstructive and Burns Surgeon who helps women who have been cruelly disfigured in acid attacks.

Dr Mohammed Ali Jawad at work (right)

Dr Mohammed Ali Jawad at work (right)

Until he met Katie, all of his work with acid victims had been in his home country, Pakistan.

There he says it is all too common for women to be attacked in this way.

Most of them are attacked by men they know – men who bear a grudge and who buy sulphuric acid all too easily and cheaply in the market.

Dr Jawad said he was truly shocked when he saw Katie’s injuries - in 15 years of practising he had never seen a white woman attacked this way.

After consulting the top names in plastic surgery, he used pioneering treatment to rebuild her skin in the first procedure of its kind in the world.

Katie in a mask she wears as part of her treatment

Katie in a mask she wears as part of her treatment

A layer of a filler skin substitute never before used on new patients was moulded over Katie’s face and a graft of skin was placed on top.

And Dr Jawad was also careful to give Katie ability to still make facial expressions - something he'll appreciate as she smiles again in gratitude.

Katie still bears the scars of the attack and has to wear a transparent perspex face mask 23 hours a day, but the revolutionary treatment given to her by Dr Jawad has given her great new hope for the future.

For her and others like her in Pakistan, Dr Mohammad Ali Jawad will always be their hero.

Katie Piper and Dr Jawad

Katie Piper and Dr Jawad

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