We first told you about Nash back in 2009, after she had been brutally attacked by her friend’s pet chimp, Travis.
For the past two years, Charla has had to wear a veil over her face to cover the damage from the savage attack, which left her blind and without a nose, ears, or lips. The chimp also ripped off both of Nash’s hands.
(UPDATE: See the amazing results from Charla’s face transplant here)
Charla Nash was initially denied a facial transplant, but now, thanks to a ground-breaking surgery, Nash has a brand new face. In a grueling, 20-hour procedure, 14 surgeons from Brigham and Women’s Hospital gave Charla a donated face and two hands.
LISTEN: Charla Nash’s shocking 911 call
After the surgery, Charla’s brother and teenage daughter Briana went to visit her and saw her new face for the very first time.
“She looks fantastic,” Briana told NBC’s TODAY. “You’d never believe something like that could be done. She looks just like everyone else. It was so good to see she can have an experience just like everyone else. I’m just so excited for her to learn to use it and let it become part of her life.”
Charla’s surgery last month was a medical first in the U.S. because it involved a face transplant as well as a simultaneous hand transplant. Sadly, Charla came down with a lung infection which decreased blood flow to her new hands and they had to be removed.
Doctors will try again when new donor hands become available.
“Transplanting a face and hands together is basically an unparalleled quest,” says Charla’s lead surgeon, Dr. Bodan Pomahac. “The complexity, logistically and surgically, I think makes it the most challenging thing we can do these days.”
Charla isn’t quite ready to show the world her new face yet, but you can learn more about the amazing surgical procedure in the videos below.