CBSN

Chimp Attack Victim Evaluated for Transplant

face of charla nash, chimp victim on oprah winfrey show nov. 11, 2009
Oprah.com
Hospital officials say a woman mauled by a chimpanzee is undergoing a preliminary evaluation in Massachusetts to determine if she is a potential candidate for a face and hand transplant.

Brigham and Women's Hospital said in a statement Monday that Charla Nash will be at the Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospital in Boston for a couple of days for the evaluation.

Nash moved last week from the Cleveland Clinic to a Boston-area assisted-living center, where she plans to continue rehabilitation. The family is trying to keep her exact location private.

The 200-pound pet chimpanzee went berserk in February 2009 after its owner asked Nash to help lure it back into her Stamford house. The animal ripped off Nash's hands, nose, lips and eyelids.

In January, Nash was turned down by the Cleveland Clinic, which said it could not do both transplants, attorney Bill Monaco told The Associated Press at the time. He said the transplants have to be done simultaneously and come from the same donor.

Nash's family was researching the possibilities of the transplants at a few other hospitals in the United States and one in Canada, Monaco said.

"It will significantly improve her quality of life," Monaco said.

A face transplant would help Nash smell, breath and eat, while a hand transplant would help her be more independent, Monaco said. Nash has great difficulty eating and mostly uses a straw, he said.

Test results showed that Travis had the anti-anxiety drug Xanax in his system.

The chimp, which was shot and killed by police, had also escaped in 2003 from his owner's car and led police on a chase for hours in downtown Stamford. No one was injured.