(NEW YORK) -- Charla Nash is battling the seemingly impossible — a life with no hands, visually blind and recovery from a face transplant after being mauled by a chimpanzee nearly three years ago.
But Nash, 58, says though she doesn’t look it, she’s the same person inside as she was before the near-fatal attack.
“I wouldn’t mind seeing what I look like,” Nash told WABC reporter Sarah Wallace in an exclusive interview.
The Connecticut woman underwent a face transplant at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital last May and is still recovering from the procedure at a rehabilitation center outside of Boston.
The 20-hour surgical marathon was performed by a team of more than 30 doctors and nurses. An attempt to give her a pair of new hands failed, and the transplanted hands were removed.
Nash said she doesn’t remember the day of the attack, but she always avoided her friend Sandra Herold’s pet chimp named Travis. Nash was helping Herold lure her pet chimp Travis inside when the 200-pound animal ripped off her nose, lips, eyelids and hands before being shot and killed by police.
Nash said she is suing the state of Connecticut, claiming that the authorities knew the chimp was a risk, but did nothing to stop him.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio