Charla Nash used to feed Travis, the chimp that mauled her. (WPIX)
Charla Nash, who was attacked by a friend's 200-pound chimpanzee in February 2009, revealed her badly mauled face for the first time on the Oprah Winfrey show Wednesday. The revelation was "on her terms," Oprah repeatedly stated.
Nash lost her eyes, nose, lips and both hands in the attack. She currently lives at the Cleveland Clinic, where the world's first face transplant was performed last December. She drinks all of her meals with a straw though a small hole where her mouth used to be, Oprah said.
She wears a veil in public because she doesn't want to frighten other people, she said, but she doesn't really know what she looks like. She told Oprah that she doesn't touch her face because she doesn't really want to feel the full extent of her injuries:
I'm the same person I've always been. I just look different. There are things that happen to you in life that you can't change. You know, it's a tragedy."
Fortunately she doesn't feel any pain. She told Oprah her face feels like there are gauze strips on it.
Fortunately, 56-year-old Nash doesn't remember the attack -- and she doesn't want to. She told Oprah she doesn't want to have nightmares about it. She told Oprah she just wants the world to know that exotic animals are very dangerous and shouldn't be kept as pets.
Meanwhile, Nash's daughter's prom is coming up. Like all moms, she'd like to help select the prom dress, she said. But first, she needs to continue to get healthy.
Would you like to help?
- Send a card to Charla at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail cards in care of Stephen and Michael Nash, 6805 Mayfield Rd. S124, Mayfield Heights, Ohio 44124.
- Visit Friends of Charlie Nash online.
- Donate to the Charla Nash Trust online.
Here's a video from the Oprah show: