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 a historic 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, which lasted for a total of 20 hours.

"My journey to recovery continued at Brigham and Women's Hospital. ...Here the medical team, led by Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, prepared me for a face transplant and a double hand transplant. My surgery was successfully completed a few months ago," Nash said in a 'first-ever' statement released by the hospital.

Chimpanzees are said to be eight to ten times stronger than humans.

The chimpanzee, named Travis, who mauled Nash last year, was shot and killed by police officers after the incident.

"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," she added.

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.

"Getting my face and hands together. That would be nice," Nash said before the surgery. Her new face was revealed for the first time in photos released by the Boston hospital, showing a striking transformation.

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.

"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."