You may remember the tragic article we featured on Shoppersbase last year, regarding Charla Nash, the incredibly brave woman who suffered horrific injuries at the hands of her friends chimpanzee called Travis. 58-year-old Ms Nash was terribly mauled by chimpanzee in 2009 and lost her eyesight, her hands, lips and nose in the attack which only ended when the chimpanzee was shot to death by a ranger. Ms Charla Nash, who was not expected to live after her appalling injuries, had a revolutionary full face transplant in 2011. Since then she says that she can sense the feeling coming back to certain areas of her face and incredibly told the Hartford Courant that she doesn’t feel any different to before the attack happened. “I just feel like it’s my face,” she said. “It’s just not working real good.”
She also says that every day she is regaining more and more movement in her face and can now even express various emotions using facial muscles. “Every day, my muscles get better.” The single mother from Stamford, Connecticut now plans to sue the state, and is seeking over $150 million in damages for their role in not properly dealing with securing the dangerous animal who attacked her. The owner of the 200lb chimp, Sandra Herold, has since died of an aneurism in 2010 but Ms Charla Nash said of her former friend that she was a ‘troubled person’ who thought more of her pet than her friends at the time. Despite the trauma Ms Charla Nash has suffered, she did say that if she could say anything to her ex boss and former friend, it would be along the lines of ‘sorry that all this happened. And, nothing we can change now.’
As expected, Ms Charla Nash has not had an easy time since the attack and has had to have many operations and still faces years of rehabilitation. Her first hand transplants failed due to serious complications but Ms Nash, who likes to be called Charlie, does not want anyones pity. “I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. I want to be like everyone else.” Ms Charla Nash was a very independent woman before the attack and would like to have an independent life at some point in the future. However, this may take some time. “I have to depend on a lot of help. My life depends on really not being alone. I used to be very independent. I don’t know what the future’s doing (sic) to bring… so I don’t get my hopes up.” She said.
There are hopeful signs to her recovery; she has now regained her sense of smell and can enjoy eating again. And sensations are returning to her forehead, cheeks and eyebrows. She is also learning how to smile. “It creases up here,” Ms Charla Nash told the Courant and she pointed at her mouth. It is Ms Charla Nashs’ hope that one day she may be able to continue to ride her horses and eventually live back in her own house as she misses the simple everyday things we take for granted. She also has a lot of financial worries as her treatment so far has cost in the region of millions of dollars. But at least Ms Nash no longer has to hide under a veil, incase she ‘scares’ people. We wish this incredibly brave woman the best of luck for the future. To read our previous article on Charla Nash, please click here.