After suffering a mauling from a chimpanzee which left her blinded, a Connecticut woman may have the chance to undergo transplant to restore what she has lost.
Currently undergoing preliminary evaluation, it is being determined if Charla Nash is a potential candidate to receive a face and hand transplant.
Occurring back in February 2009, Nash was viciously attacked by a 200-pound pet chimp after it went berserk. When the chimp’s owner asked the woman to assist in bringing the animal back into the house, her hands, nose, lips and eyelids were ripped off by the chimp.
According to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Nash will be evaluated at the Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospital for a couple of days, but a final decision is not expected for some months.
The evaluation will include an assessment of her mental health, serving as a prep to ensure that she is up for the procedure.
“I’m cautiously optimistic right now,” plastic surgeon Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, who led the team that performed the nation’s second face transplant last year, told The Associated Press. “It is certainly very, very challenging, but that’s what we like.”
According to Pomahac, the transplant performed last year took 17 hours. He added that the face and hand can be done simultaneously, being easier for the patient, or individually, which would depend on the availability of matches from donors.
Nash states that she has plans to continue her rehabilitation and is hoping to receive more reconstructive surgery.