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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Charla Nash, the Stamford woman who was attacked and disfigured two years ago in a chimpanzee attack, went public with her new face Thursday for the first time since her face transplant surgery.
The 57-year-old Nash had the full face transplant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston in May with dozens of doctors during a 20 hour operation.
She is one of roughly a dozen recipients of face transplants worldwide.
1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports: Remarkable Results
Doctors also attempted to perform a double hand transplant on Nash, but unfortunately they had to be removed.
Photo Gallery: Facial Transplant Subject Reveals New Look
Her daughter told NBC’s “Today” show her mom has made a remarkable recovery and can now breathe on her own, smell and eat solid food.
“For now we’re just worrying about getting her strength back and just in general getting her back on her feet and used to her face,” she said.
“I will now be able to do things I once took for granted,” Nash said in the 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. I am tremendously grateful to the donor and her family.”
Nash did not appear on the program because family members said she was too weak to do an interview.
In February 2009, Sandra Herold’s 200-pound pet chimp Travis attacked Nash as she was trying to lure it back into Herold’s house. It tore ripped off her nose, lips, eyelids and hands. The attack left her blinded.
Police shot the chimp dead.
Nash’s family is suing Herold’s estate for $50 million and plans on suing the state for $150 million for failing to enforce laws regulating the keeping of large animals as pets.
Herold died last year of an aneurysm.
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