HEALTH

Woman receives face transplant after chimpanzee attack

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A Connecticut woman is one step closer to getting her life back after a horrific attack. A chimpanzee mauled the woman more than two years ago, ripping apart the woman's face.

Charla Nash revealed her disfigured face on Oprah Winfrey’s talkshow. Doctors say they completed a life-changing surgery for Nash who has had to endure more than two years without a face.

The 200-pound chimp ripped off Nash's face and hands in February 2009. The 57-year-old mother has managed the long and painful road to recovery in a hat and veil.

Doctors announced Friday that Nash has received a face transplant, the third operation of this kind in the United States.

"Charla inspired the team to do everything possible,” her surgeon Dr. Bodan Pomahac told CNN.

At Nash's request, surgeons performed the full face transplant and a bilateral hand transplant in one operation. No images of Nash's new face have been released.

Her brother thanked the anonymous donor whose death gave his sister a new chance at life.

Doctors report the new hands failed to thrive because Nash developed pneumonia after the operation that compromised blood flow to her transplanted hands. They had to be removed.

Surgeons say recovery from the full face transplant looks "excellent." After years of pureed food, Nash says she wants a slice from her favorite childhood pizza parlor.

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