— Charla Nash, the Connecticut woman who was viciously attacked by a chimpanzee last year and left disfigured, is at Brigham and Women’s Hospital to find out if she could be eligible for face and hand transplants.
“Ms. Nash is here at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for a preliminary evaluation to determine if she is a potential candidate for face and hand transplants,” Peter Brown, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts hospital, confirmed. “We expect her to stay at Brigham and Women’s for a couple of days.”
Nash has spent the past 15 months undergoing multiple surgeries and rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic, and was released last Thursday to an assisted living facility closer to her new home in the Boston area.
She lost her eyesight, fingers and much of her face after being attacked last February by a 200-pound pet chimpanzee named Travis, who was owned by her friend Sandra Herold.
Although she has recovered considerably, she is still unable to chew food and has some trouble walking up stairs. Her face had been ripped apart by the animal, but thanks to surgery, she now has a nose and a more natural contour to her mouth.
“I take it day by day and just see how it goes, and I hope for the best,” Nash told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira in a taped interview that aired last Friday. “There is something, some power, that kept me alive.”
Brigham and Women’s hospital performed the second partial face transplant in the U.S. last year and is one of the leading transplantation centers.