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Woman Mauled by Chimp Gets New Face

A Connecticut woman who was mauled by a 200-pound chimpanzee in 2009 underwent a face and hand transplant at a Boston hospital, hospital officials announced last week. WARNING: Post contains graphic images.

Charla Nash, Travis the chimp
Bringham Women's Hospital / 22 News

Charla Nash, a former rodeo star and mother of one, lost her eyes, nose, lips and hands when she was attacked by a pet chimpanzee at her friend’s Stamford home. The chimp, which was named Travis and had once starred in an Old Navy commercial, was later shot and killed by police officers responding to the attack. WARNING: Post contains graphic images.

Officials at Bringham and Women’s Hospital in Boston said late last week that the face and double hand transplant was performed in May, but withheld the date of the operation to protect the identity of the donor. Hospital officials said that the hands were rejected, and later removed.

Charla Nash
Bringham Women's Hospital

In a written statement, Nash’s family said,

“We wish to thank the donor and her family for giving Charla a new face and hands. We mourn the loss of your loved one and share in your sadness. Your incredible gift to Charla is generous and kind beyond words.”

The May surgery lasted 20 hours and involved a team of more than 30 doctors, nurses and anesthesiologists.

Nash made her first televised appearance since the attack on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2009. In the interview, Nash reveled her facial injuries and said she was hoping to undergo a facial transplant.

In the interview, Nash told Oprah that she doesn’t remember anything about the attack and that she doesn’t want to. “I don’t want to remember because I couldn’t imagine what it was like. I want to get healthy. I don’t want to wake up with nightmares.”

While Nash may not be able to remember the attack, the chilling 911 call made by her friend and the chimp’s owner, Sandra Herold, is one of the more haunting ever to be released. In the call, Herold says, “He’s killing my friend!” and later, “He’s ripping her face off.” Audio of Herold’s call to police is included in the below video.

Charla Nash
Bringham Women's Hospital

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