We all remember the awful images and news reports a few years ago when Charla Nash was mauled by a runaway chimpanzee owned by her friend. In the rampage, she lost her nose, eyelids, lips and hands. Doctors weren’t sure if she would survive intially. When she did recover enough to speak she did so in shadowed interviews or with a cloth draped over her disfigured face. The few clear pictures of her after the injury are not the sort of thing we can post on Daily Kindness.
But the story has turned and there are photos we can post. Now, more than two years later, physicians at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston have released the first post-surgery pictures of Nash since she received a full face transplant in May.
“I will now be able to do things I once took for granted … 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. These professionals first saved my life, then healed my wounds and strengthened me to face an uncertain future,” a grateful Nash said.
Doctors who performed the surgery called Nash courageous.
“She inspired the team to do everything possible, using our collective expertise, to restore her quality of life,” said Plastic Surgery Transplantation Director Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, after the surgery.
In February 2009, Nash was helping a friend coax her 14-year-old pet chimp, Travis, back into the house. When Nash arrived, the chimp, who had been featured in television commercials for Coca-Cola and Old Navy, jumped on her and began biting and mauling her. Police later shot Travis to stop the attack and he died of gunshot wounds. The unprovoked attack sparked outrage from both animal rights activists and Congress which swiftly passed a bill prohibiting the purchase and transportation of primates across state lines. But that did little good for Charla until some equally courageous doctors took on a task many thought impossible.
Nash became only the third person ever to receive a face transplant, thanks to the doctors and a donor who in death gave Charla new life. The result is visible below and a true act of kindness by so many.
“I will have lips and will speak clearly once again. I will be able to kiss and hug loved ones,” Charla Nash said of her new face.
Please hit the LIKE or SHARE button and let this story resonate to your friends and family.