Chimp's victim faces numerous surgeries
Apr 07,2009 00:00 by UPI

CLEVELAND -- A Connecticut woman mauled by a chimpanzee will need numerous surgeries during the next two years, say doctors at Ohio's Cleveland Clinic.

Charla Nash, 55, suffered brain damage, was permanently blinded, and lost both hands and parts of her face when she was attacked Feb. 16 by a friend's chimpanzee, who was shot and killed by Stamford, Conn., police.

Nash remains in critical but stable condition at the Cleveland Clinic, where doctors said it could take a year for her to make a cognitive recovery, The Hartford (Conn.) Courant reported Tuesday.

The first reconstructive surgeries are to focus on restoring "critical function" while later surgeries are to focus on more complex functions and aesthetics, the clinic said in a release Monday.

Nash has made "significant neurological and psychological improvement" in recent days and can communicate with family and caregivers, said the clinic's statement, noting it is still too early to consider a face transplant.

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