The woman whose face was mauled by a chimp in 2009 successfully underwent a full face transplant that in July, according to NBC’s Today. The Connecticut woman, named Charla Nash, had her disfigured face hidden under a veil for nearly two years after the incident.
“We have been able to provide something that will eventually turn into a very functional face,” Dr. Bodhan Pomahac, who led the plastic and orthopedic surgery team, said.
Nash was attacked by a chimpanzee nearly two years ago in Stamford, Connecticut by a friend’s 200-pound pet. Her eyelids, nose, lips, and hands were ripped off during the incident and the chimpanzee, named Travis, was shot and killed by police shortly after.
“My journey to recovery continued at Brigham and Women’s Hospital… Here the medical team, led by Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, prepared me for a face transplant and a double hand transplant. My surgery was successfully completed a few months ago,” Nash said in a statement after being released from the hospital.
More than 30 physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists, and residents worked on Nash for more than 20 hours to fully replace her face, including her nose, lips, facial skin, muscles of facial animation and the nerves that will be able to give Nash the sense of smell again.
During the nearly two years, Nash had to rely on breathing tubes to eat. She was also blinded during the gruesome attack.
“She will eventually be able to eat a hamburger, which she said was very important to her having eaten only pureed food since her injury,” Pomahac said following the surgery.