Doc: Face transplant recipient wants a burger

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BOSTON (AP) - A Connecticut woman who underwent a full face transplant after an attack by a chimpanzee wants to eat hamburgers and pizza again.

Officials at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston say they performed the transplant on Charla Nash late last month.

Nash’s brother, Steve Nash, said at a news conference Friday that his sister wants to enjoy a slice of pizza from their favorite pizza parlor in their hometown of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac (POE-ma-hawk), the lead surgeon, says Nash told him she wants a burger.

Pohmahac says Nash will slowly regain facial functions over the next six to nine months.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Doctors at a Boston hospital have performed a full face transplant on the Connecticut woman who was mauled and blinded two years ago by her friend’s pet chimpanzee.

Officials at Brigham and Women's Hospital performed the transplant on Charla Nash late last month, the hospital announced Friday.

The 30-member surgical team under the leadership of Dr. Bohdan Pomahac also performed a double hand transplant on Nash, but the hands failed to thrive and were removed.

John Orr, a spokesman for the Nash family, said Nash developed numerous health problems after the surgery and only recently regained consciousness.

“She developed pneumonia, she had kidney failure, she had the circulation issue with the hands,” Orr said. “She’s been under, so to speak, since this whole thing began, and now she’s just starting to wake up.”

Orr said he has not seen Nash, but is told by her brother, Stephen, that Nash looks “fantastic, in terms of the face.”

Orr said the donor’s identity has been kept secret, but was a “fairly consistent match” for Nash.

The donor can be as much as 20 years younger or up to 10 years older than the recipient and must have the same blood type and similar skin color and texture.

“She’s not aware of the hands, that she lost them,” he said. “She’s still groggy. She’s acknowledging with a nod that someone is there, but she still has pneumonia issues. The kidneys are back working, but she isn’t aware of too much yet.”

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