When Charla Nash appeared on The Today Show this week for an interview with Meredith Vieira she nearly left the morning show host speechless.
Staring at the women who at one point had her face completely ripped off by a friend’s chimpanzee she stared in amazement as she told Nash:
“Wow. You really look fantastic,” and “I’m just—I— I apologize. I’m looking at your face and I am in awe.”
For a long time Nash rarely ventured out into public, fearing that her disfigurement would bring her unwanted stares and talk behind her back, however on Monday she revealed her new face to TODAY.
The donor face is still molding to Nash’s bone structure but the results are stunning, revealing cheek bone structuring, eyes where she is completely blind and other features that were indistinguishable just months earlier.
Speaking to Meredith the face transplant patient recalls one incident recently when a little girl said hello to her, while that might not seem like much of an accomplishment for Nash she says:
“That didn’t happen before … It was nice. The little girl was saying hi to me. I looked like I’ve got eyes and everything. …I’m not scaring anybody.”
While Nash can’t see her new face or even feel it because her hands were also taken in the attack she says other people have given her the positive encouragement she was hoping for.
“I’ve had people tell me I’m beautiful,” Nash told Vieira. “And they were not telling me I was beautiful before.”
The journey towards a new face was not an easy one for Nash who had to undergo a 20-hour triple transplant surgery in which her face was transplanted and doctors also gave her two new hands, unfortunately there were problems with the hands because she had developed pneumonia shortly after completing the transplant and they had to be removed.
Even after finding out that she had hands that had to be removed she told Vieira:
“And it didn’t really bother me because I was too sick to worry about that, you know? … And then later on, I was disappointed that, you know, I had them and they’re gone again. But I’m hoping, you know, for in the future, that it can be done again.”
Doctors in the meantime plan to attempt another hand transplant for Nash within the next 12 months.
As for Nash’s face, doctors say it will mold to her own bone structure and within the coming months people walking by won’t even realize that she has had a transplant.
What do you think of Charla Nach’s new face?