Chimp Attack Victim: I Can Smile Again

Charla Nash is still recovering from the 2009 chimp attack that left her without a face, but in an interview with The Hartford Courant she announced that, three years later, her recovery is going well. After debuting her transplanted face five months ago, she can now smile again:

"Every day my muscles get better. I can smile." One side of her mouth went a little higher than the other. "It creases up here," she said, gesturing with a forearm in the direction of her mouth.

Asked if it feels different, she said, "No, I just feel like it's my face; it's just not working real good."

Charla, who is 58 years old, still does not remember her friend Sandy Herold's pet chimp Travis attacking her. She is severely disabled; a double hand transplant failed last year, leaving her with only one thumb. She has no eyes and wears glass ones instead. She misses sunlight and being independent. To pass the time she listens to books on tape.

She worries about being a "burden on everyone for the rest of my life," but is "very happy that I'm here." She still does not know the identity of the person whose face she received, and has mixed feelings about Sandy, who died some time after the attack. [Hartford Courant]