Through a full face transplant performed last month, Charla Nash, who was attacked by a chimp two years ago, may now regain much of her normal abilities, according to CNN.
While Nash is actually the third person to receive a full face transplant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, the nature of her injuries made the procedure much more involved.
Nash, who has been featured in Oprah, sustained her injuries in early 2009 when a chimpanzee owned by one of her friends violently attacked her. Though the attack was halted by police, the chimp had already caused extensive damage to Nash’s face, neck and hands.
Though Nash had already undergone some reconstructive surgeries on her face, as well as an unsuccessful hand transplant for both hands, this full face transplant should restore many natural functions. As the full face transplant heals, Nash’s doctors say she should regain the ability to smell, make facial expressions and to eat solid foods.
Dr. Elof Eriksson, chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery, called the full face transplant surgery a “tremendous success” and Nash’s brother sees the result of the surgery as “miraculous.”
Despite still having a long road to recovery, Nash remains what others call “courageous and strong,” and has goals as she heals from her full face transplant. Nash hopes to visit her favorite hotdog stand with her brother and to attend her child’s college graduation.