Woman mutilated by chimp talks about recent transplant setback

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There has been a minor complication for the Connecticut woman who survived a brutal chimpanzee attack.

Charla Nash recently caught up with Meredith Vieira to talk about how her life has changed since the vicious attack.

In 2009, Charla Nash was mauled by her friend’s pet chimpanzee.

Nash lost her nose, eyes, lips and hands in the attack.

A few years later, Nash had a complete hand and face transplant.

According to TODAY, the hands failed to thrive, but the face transplant was a success.

Nash recently had a minor setback when her body began to reject the face transplant after doctors tried to wean her off anti-rejection drugs.

Nash told TODAY that she was backing off her anti-rejection drugs as part of a military-funded study designed to determine whether patients who receive arm, hand, leg or face transplants can safely taper off the medications, which come with serious side effects, including high blood pressure and diabetes.

Even though the experiment didn’t work, Nash remains optimistic about the study.

“It would help all the service men and women and other people getting hurt and needing transplants,” she told Vieira. “The study is not a failure. They’ve learned so much from all my testing and my input. It’ll help with the future going forward.”

Doctors say Nash’s body should accept the transplanted face once again once she is back on the medications.

Nash, who was blinded from the attack, says it was important to her to learn to live on her own after the attack.

“I’ve always been independent,” she said. “So I just wanted to go back to what I had. And as far as help—I have just what I need.”

Although Nash says she is dealing with day-to-day struggles, she is grateful for the things she has.

“I wish I had more gas and more showers, more care,” she said. “But you know, we can’t have everything, I guess. But I’m thankful for what I do have.”

Nash previously sued Sandra Herold, the owner of the chimp, and received $4 million.

However, according to spokesman Shelly Sinland, that settlement does not even begin to cover the expenses for Nash’s treatment.

Right now, friends and family members have set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money needed to cover the cost for prosthetic hands which help Nash feed herself.

Her GoFundMe page states that since Nash is blind, she has to have a special physical therapist to teach her to use the robotic hand because she cannot see which way the hand is moving.



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