Following a brutal attack by a friend’s chimpanzee, Charla Nash became the third person to receive a full face transplant. In February of 2009, Nash was helping her friend get her pet chimpanzee back into its home when it began attacking her. The chimpanzee, fourteen year old Travis, was shot by police to stop the attack and died from the wounds. Travis had appeared in several television commercials, including ones for Old Navy and Coca-Cola. The incident caused Congress to pass a bill forbidding the purchase and transportation of all primates across state lines.
The attack left Nash without hands, lips, eyelids, or a nose. Initially, doctors were unsure of whether Nash would survive. She was listed as being in critical condition for several months. She received her face transplant last May at Brigham and Women’s hospital, where she was moved to in June of 2010. The first photos of Nash after her surgery were released in the last week.
Doctors were also able to attach two new hands to Nash, but she soon became sick so they had to be removed. In an interview, Nash spoke of her gratefulness to the donor and her family. She also thanked the staff at Brigham and Women’s hospital, saying that they have helped restore her quality of life in allowing her to be a member of society again.