Jaycee Dugard and Other Amazing Survivors of the Past Year

Although she usually wears a veil so she won't "scare people." Nash agreed to show her face to the television cameras for the first time.

During the interview she said, "People are going to say what they're going to say…I need to move forward and get better and stronger."

Charla Nash

Nash refused to dwell on what had happened to her.

"I don't think about it [the attack]. There's no time for that because I need to heal, you know, not look backwards," she told Winfrey.

Moving forward in Nash's case may include more hurdles, like winning approval for a face transplant.

"I'm not a candidate for a hands transplant because I have no eyesight," she said. "I hope somewhere along the way to get a face transplant and get a hand transplant at the same time."

She is not deterred by the odds.

"I've always known that I've been strong…if I couldn't do anything I just took my time, took a breath and tried it again," Nash said.

That resolve has been tested many times over the past year, but Nash still seems undaunted in part, because her family – brothers Stephen and Michael and daughter Briana -- remain at her side.

Nash summed up her situation simply on Oprah: "I just look different. Things happen in life you can't change."


In October, after a brutal attack 15-year-old Michael Brewer lay in a hospital heavily sedated, with burns covering 65 percent of his swollen body. Doctors at Jackson Memorial Ryder Hospital in Florida discussed the likelihood of multiple organ failure and the prospect of numerous operations to replace the burned skin.

Just two months later, Brewer has been discharged from the hospital's burn unit and is home with his family.

During a press conference, Brewer's mother Valerie praised her son's grit. "I'm just ecstatic… his strength, his determination, his will to survive…he's just incredible," she said.

Brewer's story made national headlines because his alleged attackers were also all teens including at least one alleged assailant who was just 13.

The attack also stirred outrage because of its viciousness. At the time law enforcement officials called it "one of the most heinous crimes" they had ever seen and it all may have all started over a video game.

Michael Brewer

Prosecutors allege that five young suspects cornered Brewer near a pool. One teen allegedly splashed the boy with rubbing alcohol and another set him on fire while the rest watched. The teens were apparently angered because Brewer failed to pay for a $40 video game.

Brewer spent his first night at home with family watching a movie and eating pizza. Although the middle-schooler has now left the hospital, his ordeal is far from over. According to his doctors, Brewer must still undergo physical therapy five days a week and even simple tasks like raising his arms above his head are painful.

After watching her son undergo a grueling regimen of treatments – including three skin grafts over the past two months Brewer's mother, Valerie, said, "I'm so proud of him. He is my hero, he really is."

Brewer added that despite his injuries her son is looking forward to moving on with his life. His alleged assailants won't be able to say the same. Three of the teens have been charged as adults. The charges of attempted second-degree murder could carry a sentence of up to 30 years.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...