Mauling Victim Gets Face Transplant

Charla Nash Was Mauled Nearly to Death by Pet Chimpanzee

Charla Nash after being mauled by escaped pet chimp
Charla Nash after Mauling

Charla Nash, 57, whose face was mauled by a furious 200-pound pet chimpanzee in February 2009, has undergone a full face transplant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, medical team leader announced. The animal attack left her blind. Nash says she yearns to be able to eat pizza and hamburgers again; quite a change from the pureed foods she has had to live on over the last few months.

The chimpanzee’s owner had asked Nash help her coax the animal back into the house. Her hands were ripped off, as were her nose, lips and eyelids. The police intervened and shot the chimp dead, but not soon enough to prevent her dreadful injuries.

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This is the third full face transplant in the United States. A team of 30 medical professionals were involved in replacing nerves, blood vessels, underlying muscles, her teeth and hard palate.

Dr. Pomahac said that overall, her prognosis looks good. Nash also underwent a double hand transplant in May. Unfortunately, she had a pneumonia complication, resulting in a serious drop in blood pressure, this undermined the blood supply to her hands, and they eventually had to be removed. However, Pomahac said she might still be a candidate for another hand transplant.