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Chimpanzee attack victim receives full face transplant in Boston

June 11, 2011 - Washington

A US woman, the victim of a gruesome chimpanzee attack in 2009, has received a full facial transplant.

Charla Nash lost her nose, lips, an eyelid and her hands when the animal, which was kept by a friend as a pet, attacked her. She was also left blind.

Doctors said there were numerous complications during the 20-hour operation in Boston last month and that Nash had only recently woken up, The BBC reports.

Nash has been given a new nose and lips as well as facial skin, nerves, muscles and teeth, but she remains blind. She was also given two new hands but they later had to be removed.

Lead surgeon Dr Bohdan Pomahac said he was confident Nash would regain muscle control of her face in the coming months and that she should be able to smell and to eat normally.

Nash was attacked by a 95kg pet chimpanzee, known as Travis, for 12 minutes.

The chimp's owner, Sandra Herold, died last year but the Nash family is suing her estate for 50million dollars for negligence and recklessness. They also hope to sue the state for 150million dollars, saying the authorities failed to prevent the attack.


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