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Cole 'on the mend' after Malaria treatment

Cheryl Cole is making a good recovery after being struck down with malaria, according to Simon Cowell.

The 27-year-old X Factor judge contracted the disease on a trip to Tanzania last month and is recovering at a private clinic after leaving intensive care.

Speaking last night at the launch of a charity to help burns victims, Cowell said: "I had a text from her yesterday.

"She is on the mend and looking forward to coming back to work.

"She is making a good recovery."

Cole had to pull out of the final auditions and judging the boot camp stage of the forthcoming series of the talent show because of the illness.

Cowell said he wanted to make sure she did not return to the series too early and risk becoming ill again.

The X Factor supremo also spoke of the impact a former model who was badly disfigured in an acid attack made on him as he was unveiled as patron of her new charity.

He described Katie Piper as an "inspiration" as he backed her plan to set up a specialist burns rehabilitation centre offering medical treatment and emotional support.

Miss Piper, 26, was an aspiring TV presenter when she had sulphuric acid thrown in her face as she walked along a street in Golders Green, north-west London, in March 2008.

She was left fighting for her life after obsessive martial arts fan Daniel Lynch raped her and then arranged for another man to throw the corrosive liquid after she tried to break off their relationship.

The acid burned through all four layers of skin on her face, some spilled down her throat and she was left blind in one eye.

She underwent more than 40 operations on her face and throat including groundbreaking surgery at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

Miss Piper waived her right to anonymity to feature in a television documentary last year.

Cowell, who contacted her after being moved by the Channel 4 programme, spoke at the launch of the Katie Piper Foundation in west London last night.

He said: "About half way through the documentary I got so angry that these - they are not even people, they are monsters - tried to destroy her life.

"There was a point half way through when you were led to believe that she was not going to leave her house and that her life was going to be ruined.

"Then towards the end it was a much happier ending insomuch as Katie decided that this was not going to destroy her, it was actually going to make her.

"I was really touched by her story which is why I wanted to meet her."

Miss Piper had five intensive three-week blocks of treatment at the Centre Ster in Lamalou, France.

She credited the daily routine of treatments, including deep tissue massage, physiotherapy, skin-softening endomology machines, hydrotherapy, silicone and pressure garments, as a key part of her recovery.

Miss Piper said: "I want the clinic to be a place where people can learn to overcome the psychological barriers of living with disfigurement and concentrate on rebuilding their lives."

Wearing a short Reiss dress and peacock-coloured high heels by Kurt Geiger, she told guests: "I believe that I am living proof that disfigurement does not mean the end of your life as you know it."

Lynch and Stefan Sylvestre - who threw the acid - were sentenced to life in prison by a judge at Wood Green Crown Court who described the pair as the "face of pure evil".