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Face Transplant Unveiled After Shotgun Blast

  • Category: Pics  |
  • 12 May, 2009  |
  • Views: 11600  |
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When Connie Culp heard a small child call her a monster after her face was almost completely destroyed and disfigured after being shot with a rifle, she pulled out her driver’s license to show the child what she looked like before the horrible incident. She was a pretty woman with brown locks.

1 Face Transplant Unveiled After Shotgun Blast

She is smiling shyly in the photo on her license. Years later she would be the first patient in the United States to have successfully undergone a face transplant.

It’s clear the surgery didn’t turn Connie Culp into a beauty queen, per se: her facial expression still appears a little wooden, but she can talk, laugh and finally taste and smell her food again.


2 Face Transplant Unveiled After Shotgun Blast

It also takes a while to get used to her manner of speaking, and her face still looks a little disfigured: her cheeks droop down to her neck. Doctors will remove these skin flaps once the blood circulation and the muscles are stimulated by the new nerves.

She is no beauty queen, yes, this is true, but her appearance now is a far cry from the grotesque face she had after being tragically shot – which is why the patient has nothing but praise for her doctors.


3 Face Transplant Unveiled After Shotgun Blast

“I guess I’m the one you came to see today,” said the 46-year-old in a Cleveland hospital, which is where Culp underwent many life-saving operations. “While I know you all want to focus on me, I think it’s more important that you focus on the donor family,” she added.

Culp’s husband Thomas shot her straight in the middle of her face with a rifle before turning the weapon on himself – both only barely managed to survive. While Thomas went to prison, his wife fought for her life in hospital. The gunshot had ruined her nose, cheeks, mouth and a part of her right eye. Hundreds of little bone fragments and munition shrapnel made up her central facial area after the incident. Breathing alone proved to be an endlessly difficult task. Only the eyelids, her forehead, her lower lip and her chin remained unaffected.


4 Face Transplant Unveiled After Shotgun Blast

Then she met physician Risal Djohan, who examined her injuries two months after the accident. “He told me he couldn’t promise me that he could fix my face, but he said he would try everything,” Culp said.

Culp underwent 30 operations to get her face to look the way it does today. Doctors removed parts of her ribs to shape cheek bones out of them, as well as material from bones in her legs to shape an upper jaw. She also endured countless skin transplants, and still she was not able to eat solid food, to breathe, or even to smell.


5 Face Transplant Unveiled After Shotgun Blast

On December 9, 2008, she received the face of a woman who had just recently passed away in a transplant operation that took 22 hours. From then on things began looking up for her. She is the fourth person to have successfully undergone such a transplant.

Connie Culp has found a new task in life: she wants to ensure that burn victims or those who suffer from disfiguration find a better sense of acceptance in society.




6 Face Transplant Unveiled After Shotgun Blast

"When somebody has a disfigurement or doesn't look as pretty as you, don't judge them," she said. "You never know what happened to them and you never know what might happen to you... it might all be taken away."


7 Face Transplant Unveiled After Shotgun Blast

Meanwhile she lives on her own in a house near her children and grandchildren. Her doctors are pleased with her healing process, and Connie Culp can (almost) lead a normal life.

Text: news.sky.com


Do you like it?



№1 Author: Yoni (12 May 2009 05:17) Total user comments: 120


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Now that's a courageous woman! I respect her determination & spirit.
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№2 Author: new_man (13 May 2009 09:16) Total user comments: 0


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poor woman. I wonder what happened to her husband.
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№3 Author: sven (11 Jun 2009 20:55) Total user comments: 0


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KILL IT!!! KILL IT!!!!
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№4 Author: Grim_my_Reaper (25 Sep 2009 15:45) Total user comments: 68


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wow. she's a bit inspirational.
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№5 Author: Random (28 Dec 2009 21:54) Total user comments: 0


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That is amazing- more power to her!!!

In my opinion, no matter how her face looks now, she's still beautiful- I don't know many people who could even live through that, much less spread awareness about people with disfigurements afterwards.

Maybe one of the most courageous women I've ever seen...
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№6 Author: poe (13 Jan 2010 13:04) Total user comments: 0


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It's not face transplant. I saw her on TV. It was a face reconstruction with skin transplant because of birth defect
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№7 Author: adzhoe (7 May 2010 02:40) Total user comments: 14959


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like to see the final result after the last surgery and rehab
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№8 Author: compmaster (16 Nov 2010 23:53) Total user comments: 1871


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№9 Author: mahedi (22 Sep 2012 10:01) Total user comments: 10772


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This is absolutely amazing
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