A failed murder-suicide attempt in Honeydale, Ohio 11 years ago left one woman faceless but, remarkably, alive.
Connie Culp is the first patient in American history to successfully receive a face transplant. The groundbreaking surgery has given her a second chance to live her life.
‘I can remember everything,’ says Connie as she recalls the events of that fateful night in September 2004. Her former husband Tom shot her in the face in a bid to kill her, and later himself.
Not only did Connie survive the brutal attack, but she also managed to remain conscious long enough to catch her face in the mirror on her way to get help. ‘I saw my eye out, and all the skin was pulled away,’ she remembers sadly.
Looking good now, Colby!
What a boy, what a smile!
Race against time
Her muscles are turning to bone
The shotgun blast had destroyed her nose, cheeks, right eye and the roof of her mouth.
But thanks to a talented group of surgeons from a clinic in Cleveland, Connie now has a new face and a new lease of life. The doctors used the right side of her head to construct an upper jaw, and bone from her skull to rebuild the middle of her face.
Tom Culp is due to be released from prison, but Connie claims that she still loves him.
‘I’ll probably always love him because he’s the father of my kids,’ says Connie, ‘but I just can’t handle being around him.’
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