Health

Disfigured by Chimp Attack, Charla Nash Gets New Face

| by Michael Allen

Charla Nash, a Connecticut woman who was disfigured after being attacked by a chimp in 2009, revealed her new face for the first time on Thursday. Her new look was the result of an amazing surgery by 30 doctors at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Nash underwent a 20-hour surgery back in May to reconstruct her face and replace her hands that had been torn off in the vicious attack. Doctors took a donor's skin, muscle, nerves and upper palate and transplanted the entire face on to Nash's skull.

(Photo by Lightchaser Photography)

Unfortunately, the double-hand transplant failed and her hands had to be removed. Nash developed severe complications, including kidney failure and pneumonia, which caused low circulation in the new hands.

"I will now be able to do things I once took for granted," she said in a statement. "I will be able to smell. I will be able to eat normally. I will no longer be disfigured. I will have lips and will speak clearly once again. I will be able to kiss and hug loved ones. Since Feb. 16, 2009, I have been blessed to be in the care of many incredible doctors, nurses and caregivers."

 

(Nash before the attack and after the surgery.)

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Nash was injured in 2009 when visiting a friend, Sandra Herold, who has since passed away. When Nash got out of her car, Herold's pet chimp, Travis, attacked and tore off her hands, nose, lips and eyes. Nash's family is suing Herold's estate for $50 million and may sue the state of Connecticut for $150 million for failing prevent the attack.

Nash has hidden her face under a veil for the past two years. She revealed her disfigured face in an interview with Oprah Winfrey just a few months after the attack.