Charla Nash, 57, who had a full face transplant after being attacked by a furious 200-pound pet chimpanzee in February 2009, showed her new face in a photograph while in bed at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, a teaching affiliate to Harvard Medical School. She looks completely different from the old Charla Nash - now she has different facial skin, lips and a new nose.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, director of the BWH Plastic Surgery Transplantation Program, said:

"It's wonderful to see how Charla's recovery has progressed as she continues taking steps toward her new life."

Pomahac headed a team of over 30 individuals, including doctors, nurses and anesthesiologists during the full transplant procedure. This is the third full face transplant carried out at Brigham and Women's Hospital in three months.



Charla Nash had also undergone a double hand transplant. Unfortunately, she developed a pneumonia complication which led to a serious fall in blood pressure. The drop in blood pressure affected the blood supply to her hands, and eventually they had to be removed. However, the surgeons say there is still a chance she might be a candidate for another hand transplant.

Consent for the tissue graft donation was obtained through New England Organ Bank staff after liaising with the family of the donor. The donor remains anonymous.

Richard S. Luskin, CEO of New England Organ Bank, said:

"When our work on this face transplant project began, we knew it would depend on consent for donation from some amazing donor families who would seek to help others even as they experienced their own personal grief. We have since had the honor of working with four donor families who have made this donation decision. Their strength and generosity are an inspiration to all of us."

The chimpanzee attack left Nash blind - there was nothing the doctors could do to restore her eyesight.

The owner of the chimp had asked Nash to help her get the pet back into the house. The animal went berserk and ripped off her hands, nose, lips, eyelids and a considerable amount of facial skin. The chimpanzee was shot dead as soon as the police arrived - however, not soon enough to prevent her devastating injuries.

Animation of the procedure:

Charla Nash: Transplant animation from BWH Public Affairs on Vimeo.



Surgery video and video of Charla before the procedure:

Charla Nash: BRoll from BWH Public Affairs on Vimeo.





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