Briana Nash, the daughter of a woman who was viciously mauled by a chimpanzee, told NBC "Today" show host Ann Curry that her mother's historic face transplant has worked wonders. Her mother's new face was revealed for the first time in photos on the show.
"It's just good to see such rapid progress and the happiness that wasn't there before," Briana Nash, 17, told Curry. "A new hope has sparked."
Charla Nash, 57, was attacked in Stamford, Conn., in 2009 by a friend's 200-pound chimpanzee, which ripped off her nose, lips, eyelids and hands. She underwent radical surgery at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, becoming one of only a few people in the world to have received a full face transplant.
“Since February 16, 2009, I have been blessed to be in the care of many incredible doctors, nurses, and caregivers," Nash said in a statement released by the hospital.
"These professionals first saved my life, then healed my wounds and strengthened me to face an uncertain future. They helped me adapt to a near impossible situation where I was unable to see, smell, and move with confidence without the use of hands."
Her new face was revealed for the first time in photos released by the Boston hospital, showing a striking transformation.
The pictures of Charla Nash were shown on the "Today" show on Thursday morning. Nash, who had a face transplant in May, didn't appear on the program because family members said she was too weak to do an interview.
“I’m beginning to feel my jaw and chin,” she said off air. “And I can move my mouth and smile. I still feel weak. But little by little I’m getting stronger.”
Nash said in a statement she's looking forward to doing things she once took for granted, including being able to smell, eat normally, speak clearly and kiss loved ones.
Dr. Bohdan Pomahac from Brigham and Women's Hospital speaks about Charla Nash's historic face transplant surgery: