Charla Nash, the Connecticut woman who suffered horrific injures after being mauled by a friend’s chimpanzee, is back in the hospital after physicians found her body is rejecting tissue from her five-year-old face transplant.
The director of plastic surgery transplantation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where Nash is being cared for, said the woman is experiencing a “moderate rejection episode,” but the transplant itself doesn’t appear to be threatened.
The 62-year-old woman lost most of her face and hands in 2009 when a friend’s 200-pound chimp mauled her. Her eyes had to be removed because of disease transmitted by the chimpanzee.
Dr. Bohdan Pomachac said in a statement that Nash will leave the hospital in a day or two. She is participating in a military-funded medical experiment to try to wean her off anti-rejections meds that can have debilitating side effects. The study was designed to benefit military members with transplants from war-related injuries.
Nash has been removed from the study and returned to her original medication, Phomahac said, according to The Associated Press.
She had recently noticed strange patches on her face and doctors found her body was rejecting the transplanted skin.
"I gave it my all and know my participation in the study will still be beneficial," Nash said in a statement to The AP. "I'd do it all over again, if I could. The men and women serving our country are the true heroes."