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.

Charla Nash before and after the attack. (credit: Nash Family; Brigham and Women's Hospital)

“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.

What do you think? Let us know below…

Comments (24)
  1. Jax says:

    She is amazing, and the family of the donor is amazing too because without them she would not have a face. Thank you to all the people who donate their organs etc.

  2. Barbie says:

    What a miracle. God bless her and her family..

  3. BUSTER says:



    They took a picture of her while she was sleeping.

  5. Tats says:

    Wow!!!! what strides we have made in medicine. Glad to see the remarkable difference for Charla and agree with her filing a suit against the state, considering the (more than likely) pre-op, surgery and post-op expenses and/or stress; as well as possible inconvenience/loss of income/leisure time. Sorry to hear that Herold’s estate has been dragged into this unfortunate affair, but… Hope everything goes well in post-op and pray that Charla’s body will not reject the new organ. Congrats to the docs and medical fraternity.

  6. valoispq says:

    Oh yeah now I see the post transplant pic at the top, sorry. Yeah she does look good.

  7. valoispq says:

    The caption says before and after the attack, if that is right then it is not a pic of how she looks after the transplant. I hope she is beautiful. To lose your eyes and hands is monumental. I wish her all the best.

    1. gotacomment says:

      Don’t be sorry for Herold or by extension her estate. She owned thins animal, knew it was dangerous, and insisted on feeding it booze and drugs and treated it as if it were human. Nash was Herold’s emplloyee, not her friend. She was doing what Herold ordered her to do when the drugged-out animal attacked her. Afterwqrd, herold tried to make this a worlers’ compensation case so she wouldn’t have to pay out as much. I can’t speak for you, but I don’t have much sympathy for Herold.

  8. Debbie says:

    She looks amazing. I think she should get everthing that’s due to her. That was a horrific attack. She deserves whatevershe gets from the state as well. They shouldn’t allow anyone to keep an animal like that as a pet. God bless you Carla!!!! I wish you the best!!!!

  9. Linda says:

    Charla, Good Luck, you look beautiful. God be with you always.

    Yes, the state of CT is also responsible. The state not only knew about Travis, they were warned about how dangerous an adult chimp can be.

  10. Ramon E. says:

    I miss typed in my first comment. My point was that suing Ms. Herold’s estate only harms Ms. Herold’s heirs.
    The State does inforce DUI laws and was neglant in having allowed Ms. Herold have the chimp.

    1. AB says:

      It makes no difference. If Ms. Herold were alive, she would have had to pay Ms. Nash which, ultimately, would have come from her estate.

    2. gotacomment says:

      My earlier reply was misdirected. Herold has no family and as far as i know, no heirs. She was not Nash’s friend; she was her employer and tried to make this a Workers’ Compensation case so she wouldn’t have to pay as much. Nash was ordered by her to care for the chimp; once it leaped on Nash’s back and tore out a clump of her hair. Herold laughed like a drain. She shed more tears for the chimp than for Nash. I don’t find her eliciting much sympathy from me.

  11. Ramon E. says:

    It is wonderful that she has recovered so beutfuly. We have prayed for her and Ms. Herold. We were sad to hear of Ms. Herold’s passing. It was obvious she loved her friend Ms. Nash. God bless her for the courage she has shown.
    The State should settle handsomely with Ms. Nash. I am somewhat saddened that Ms. Nash is Ms. Herold’s estate. Ms. Nash went there knowing the chimp was out and responding dangeriously. She was trying to help her friend which was admerable. Ms. Herold’s heirs should not be punished for this terriable incsident,

    1. gotacomment says:

      Ramon E., i don’t know why my replies to you are being misdirected, but I’ll try again. Sandra Herold was not Charla Nash’s friend. She was her employer. Nash did what Herold told her to do on the day she tried to get the drugged-up chimp back in the house. Herold fed it booze and drugs and tried to pretend it was a person. Nash cleaned out the cage. on one occasion, the chimp leaped on Nash’s back and tore out a clump of her hair. Herold thought it was funny.. She tried to make this a workers’ compensation case so she wouldn’t have to pay as much, and her lawyers are trying to keep it that way.Most of my sympathy goes to Nash.

  12. Linda B. says:

    You look amazing. May you look to God through the trials that you still face.

  13. travis says:

    good for her see look great

  14. Barbara Muller says:

    I am very happy for her I can not even begin to understand all she’s gone through.
    I don’t, however, agree in the law suit against the state. Could we file suit against the state if we get hit by a speeding car, shot by a bank robber because the police failed to make them follow the law.

    1. Linda says:

      I think you could if the state made it legal to drink and drive. Think about your statement then go back and read the story!

  15. AlexaNYC says:

    This is incredible. Not only that they can make her face look perfectly normal after the terrible way she was disfigured, but that she can recover normal sensitivity in her face, smell and taste. Amazing!

  16. jgny says:

    Thank God for the US Healthcare system that produced these talent surgeons, support staff and tools to help this poor lady. May it R.I.P.

  17. Linda says:

    I agree with both comments, this is truly a Miracle. God bless you Lady, you are an extreemly strong woman.

  18. Ellen says:

    What an unbelievable medical achievement and a tremendous group of doctors who’s talents are not only admirable but genius as well. Those Doctors at Woman’s and Brigham in Boston are the greatest.

  19. Cindy Paoletti says:

    Absolutely Amazing!!! I saw her on Oprah awhile ago when her face was still very disfigured. The current picture is unbelievable…you would never know what she had suffered in the attack. I hope now she will go on with her life and gets healthy fast. She is one of the strongest women alive as far as I’m concerned and never let this attack or disfigurement stop her. God Bless you Charla, you are truly an amazing person!

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