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New Pictures: Face Transplant for Woman Mauled by Chimp Looks Remarkably Good

New Pictures: Face Transplant for Woman Mauled by Chimp Looks Remarkably Good

"I am tremendously grateful to the donor and her family."

It's an example of the best kind of plastic surgery.

Less than two years after being mauled by a friend's pet chimpanzee, Charla Nash released the first pictures of her new face. She underwent surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston in May, and the hospital released this post-surgery picture on Thursday.

"I will now be able to do things I once took for granted ... I will have lips and will speak clearly once again. I will be able to kiss and hug loved ones. I am tremendously grateful to the donor and her family," Nash wrote in a statement on Thursday.

The attack happened in 2009. Nash was helping her friend persuade a 14-year-old chimp named Travis back into the house when he jumped on her. Travis left Charla Nash without a nose, eyelids, lips or hands. Police initially couldn't determine her gender and said they weren't sure she would survive. They shot Travis to stop the attack and he died later from gunshot wounds. Travis could be called somewhat of a television star - he had been featured in television commercials for Coca-Cola and Old Navy.

The unprovoked attack sparked outrage from both animal rights activists and Congress.  Soon after, lawmakers passed a bill prohibiting the purchase and transportation of primates across state lines. Whether the new law would've prevented this attack, is debatable.

Here's what Nash looked like, when she appeared on Oprah about nine months after the initial attack. Doctors have done some work already here - they've attached a skin graph in the middle of her face.

At this point, Nash didn't know the full extent of her injuries. "I don't ask a whole lot about my injuries... I know that I have my forehead," she said during her appearance on Oprah. Here's Nash pictured with Travis before the attack.

The attack was a freak accident, said Nash's friend and owner of the chimp Sandra Herold, and this video shows some of what happened the afternoon Nash lost much of her face and hands.

Nash moved to Brigham and Women's Hospital in June 2010, according to a report from CNN. She was only the third patient to receive a full facial transplant at the hospital. While the facial surgery was a success, replacing her hands proved harder. A few days after doctors gave Nash new hands, the patient became very sick and had to have them removed again.

"I was given the chance to restore most of what I lost by coming to Brigham and Women's Hospital," she said. "Here, I received a new face ... that will allow me to be independent again and able to be a part of society."

She called the unsuccessful hand surgery a bump in the road, and said she's optimistic about the future.

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