Woman’s face eaten by crazed wine-swigging pet chimp before incredible transformation

Charla Nash had her eyelids, nose, jaw, lips and scalp ripped off by her friend’s pet chimpanzee but was able to feel like a ‘person again’ after her incredible face transplant

charla nash and travis
Charla Nash had her face torn off by her friend’s pet chimpanzee

Charla Nash’s life changed forever when she had her face and hands savagely torn off by a chimpanzee during a horrifying attack.

In February 2009 she had been trying to help bring her friend’s pet chimp, Travis, inside after he ran away from his home in Stamford, Connecticut, when the 200-pound 14-year-old chimp launched himself at her.

He began violently mauling Charla, tearing off her eyelids, nose, jaw, lips, and most of her scalp.

The chimp broke nearly every bone in her face, completely ripped off one of her hands and nearly all of the other, and left her with brain tissue injuries.

Charla was also left blind after doctors had to remove her eyes because of an infection spread by the chimp.

Charla Nash
Charla Nash had her face torn of by her friend’s pet chimpanzee (Image: AP)
But incredibly, she was able to survive the ordeal and spent years undergoing an incredible transformation after becoming one of the first people in the US to receive a face transplant — leaving her feeling like a “person again”.

Travis had been adopted by Charla’s friend Sandra Herold for $50,000 when he was just three days old and was a beloved celebrity in his local town.

Travis the chimp
Travis was a celebrity in his local town (Image: AP)

Sandra considered Travis her “son” and the animal actor was raised like a human — learning to dress himself, often accompanying his owners to work and even drinking wine.

But over time the primate’s behaviour became concerning, coming to a head on the day that he snapped at Charla.

Charla’s brain has blocked out any memory of the horrific attack, but Sandra’s chilling phone call to 911 paints a vivid picture of the gruesome incident.

a framed photograph of Charla Nash, taken before she was attacked by a chimpanzee,
Charla before the attack (Image: AP)

Frantically pleading for help, she can be heard shouting: “He ripped her apart! Hurry up! Hurry up! Please! He—he ripped her face off! He’s eating her face!”

As the chimp’s frenzied screams could be heard in the background, she adds: “Gun! They got to shoot him! Please! Please! Hurry! Hurry! Please! I can’t. I can’t … He’s eating her! He’s eating her! Please! God! Please! Where are they? Where are they?

Sandra hit the chimp with a shovel and even stabbed him in the back with a knife in an attempt to stop the attack, but nothing could stop the crazed animal until he was fatally shot by officers arriving at the bloody scene.

Charla nash
Charla had to have her eyes removed after the attack

Charla’s injuries were so severe that responding officers couldn’t even decipher her gender and assumed she was dead — until she moved.

She miraculously survived the ordeal and in 2011 Charla became the first person in the US to undergo a double face and hand transplant.

Sadly, her hand transplant failed after Charla developed pneumonia and they had to be removed due to infection and poor circulation.

Charla Nash
She became the first person in the US to have a double face and hand transplant (Image: AP)

But the face transplant was a success and Charla, who initially hid behind a veil after the attack, revealed the incredible transformation for the first time during an appearance on TODAY.

“I’ve come a long way”, she said, adding: “I never thought I’d be like this.”

Charla told TODAY that she’s been able to get some of her independence back.

Charla Nash
Charla’s transformational surgeries have helped her live a more independent life (Image: AP)

She said: “Every day I build up a little more strength and try to get a little more aggressive with things I want to do.

“I was such an independent person (before the attack), and to have to rely on people to do every little thing for me has been a challenge.”

The incredible surgeries made it possible for Charla to live on her own and even leave the house by herself.

“You feel like you’re almost normal. You feel like you’re a person again,” she said.

Dr Bohdan Pomahac, director of plastic surgery transplantation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where Charla underwent her transplant, said she is doing “remarkably well”.

He added: “She has experienced the restoration of vital functions, including the ability to breathe through her nose, smell, and eat without drooling.”

Charla Nash
Charla has maintained a life away from the spotlight in recent years (Image: AP)

Charla’s psychological recovery was helped by the fact that she doesn’t remember the day of the attack, but she hopes those memories don’t come back.

“I’m told that it could stay hidden for years, and it could possibly hit me and cause me nightmares and such,” she said. “In the case that it does, I can reach out for psychological help, but knock on wood, I don’t have any nightmares or remembrance.”

While Charla bravely opened up about her face transplant journey, the now 69-year-old has kept more of a low profile in recent years.

Source: https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/us-news/womans-face-eaten-crazed-wine-29533053

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *