ACID attack victim Katie Piper is helping a young man from Shoebury who suffered horrific burns get his life back on track.
Stephen Everett, 21, is currently recovering at Kenway Court Care Home, Southend after he suffered 60 per cent burns following an accident at his home in West Road in April.
Former model Katie, 29, who campaigns to raise awareness of the plight of burns victims, spent time chatting with Stephen after paying him a visit.
Stephen's dad Keith, 50, said: “She has given the whole family inspiration for our battle with Stephen’s recovery and she is looking forward to meeting him again soon.
“She has a very positive nature. She spoke about times when she was not feeling too great.
“She’s got a very positive attitude and said to keep smiling.”
The celebrity, whose ex-boyfriend Daniel Lynch arranged for another man, Stefan Sylvestre, to throw sulphuric acid in her face, burning her, in 2008, has told Keith she hopes to see him again before Christmas.
Friends and family, including Lynsey McHugh, Bethan Jones, Lizzie Ince, Sammie Tower and Danielle Moore, have been busy rallying around giving Stephen the support he needs.
Stephen spent almost seven weeks on life support in Broomfield Hospital, London, before being moved to Southend Hospital.
He arrived at Kenway in mid-August.
Popular Stephen, who only started walking again after four months, was at death’s door in Broomfield after a chest infection rose his temperature to 42C.
He also suffers from Worster-drought Syndrome, which stops parts of his body receiving signals from his brain and means he can’t speak properly.
Regulars and staff at Porters Bar, Westborough Road, where Stephen and dad Keith enjoy a drink, have even raised money for his rehabilitation and pal Jason Woodman has organised a fundraiser at Bar Lambs, Westcliff, for this Saturday, which Stephen will attend.
Keith, who put his job at window firm Climatec in the Temple Farm Industrial Estate on hold to visit his son in London, said: “He has had tremendous support from family and friends.
“He is a very popular young man around this area. You can’t walk down the street without someone saying ‘Hello Stephen’.”
Windermere Road Supporters Club has also given £1,000 towards Stephen’s rehabilitation and donated £500 to Broomfield’s burns unit.
Entrance to the night at Bar Lambs, which will feature rockers The Dropper’s Neck and AC/DC tribute band Pure DC, costs £8.
Keith added: “Stephen will like seeing his old friends and faces. He thrives on meeting people. That’s how he gets his buzz.”
Money raised will be used to fund surgery, physiotherapy and possibly a holiday for Stephen.