Katie Piper met Sir Roy Calne at the Daily Mirror's Pride of Britain Awards and delivered a touching speech
Katie Piper was understandably overcome with emotion as she met the man who enabled her to regain her eyesight – saying ‘I am able to see my child because of you’.
The TV host and model hugged Sir Roy Calne on stage at the Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards as she honoured him alongside Paul O’Grady and Carol Vorderman, leaving the audience applauding before she even had time to finish her speech.
Katie, 29, gave birth to her daughter Belle in March and spoke about how she wouldn’t have been able to know what her little one looked like if it wasn’t for him, after a horrific acid attack in 2008 left her partially blind in one eye.
She was clearly choked up by the experience as the nation’s heroes were handed trophies.
She said: ‘I was told that I’d be blind forever. My parents researched treatment for me and they found a stem cell cornea transplant. And it was the drug that you developed Cyclosporine that I had to take to restore my eyesight.’
The medical development means that people having organ transplants are less likely to reject the other person’s body part.
Katie continued: ‘Six years on, this year I gave birth to my first child, and I was able to look her in the eyes. I am able to see my child because of you. So thank you.’
Paul also joked that he had the medical pioneer’s number on speed dial because ‘you never know’.
The presenter has suffered heart problems in the past but brought a bit of humour to the occasion.
He completed his speech by saying: ‘I’d just like to say on behalf of thousands of people whose lives you’ve saved and changed, and allowed them to lead normal and healthy lives… thank you.’