By Amber Goodhand – Radar Reporter
For the first time, we’re seeing Charla Nash’s new face — she’s the woman who was brutally attacked by her friend’s chimpanzee two years ago and lost most of her face, but underwent a revolutionary face transplant three months ago.
“I’m beginning to feel my jaw and chin. And I can move my mouth and smile,” Nash told the Today show. “I still feel weak…but little by little I’m getting stronger.”
The progress and recovery of Nash’s face transplant is remarkable and it took a team of more than 30 surgeons and nurses nearly 20 hours at a hospital in Boston to rebuild her face.
“New hope has been sparked. It’s just so nice to see her ready to get at it again,” Nash’s 17-year-old daughter Brianna said. “For her to make an expression…it’s just nice that her body language can express how she feels.”
Nash has been unable to eat solid foods since the 2009 incident, but thanks to her face transplant she was able to eat eggs and cream cheese for her first non-liquid meal.
Nash, 57, also had her hands torn off by the chimp and underwent a double hand transplant at the same time she got her new face, but they had to be removed after complications caused low circulation in the new hands.
The donor of Nash’s new face has been kept secret and the lead surgeon Dr. Bodan Pomahac said, “From what we know, she will not resemble the donor. She will be looking like someone a little different than she was before the accident, but different than the donor.”
Nash will continue with intensive therapy and her brother Steve says the family is “optimistic” about her future.