Chimp Attack Victim Unveils Destroyed Face on Oprah

Charla Nash says she wears a veil so she won't scare people.

ByABC News
November 11, 2009, 10:58 AM

Nov. 11, 2009— -- The Connecticut woman who was attacked by her friend's chimpanzee in February, revealed the mangled remains of her face on the Oprah Winfrey show today for the first time, publicly showing the remnants of her missing eyes, nose and lips.

Charla Nash, who wakes up every day in a hospital room at the Cleveland clinic where doctors change her bandages daily, told Winfrey she rarely touches her face so as not to learn the full extent of her injuries.

"I don't ask a whole lot about my injuries. I know that I have my forehead," she told Winfrey.

Nash, 56, must drink all of her meals with a straw though a small hole where her mouth used to be, She said she longs for the day when she might be able to eat "a hot dog or piece of pizza."

Click here to see Charla Nash's uncovered face

Despite her injuries, Nash seemed remarkably upbeat. She said she felt no pain, was not angry and was ready to move on with her life rather than dwell on that horrific day.

"I'm the same person I've always been. I just look different. There are things that happen in life you can't change," she said.

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

Nash was mauled by a 200-pound adult chimpanzee named Travis, owned by her friend and employer Sandra Herold. Paramedics responding to a 911 call said they found pieces of Nash's fingers strewn on the floor and her hands looked as though they had been through a meat grinder.

"The monkey had ripped off her entire upper jaw, had ripped off her nose, which as hanging by a thread," said Dr.Kevin Miller, who treated Nash when she taken to the emergency room. "We found extensive dirt, chimp fur, and chimp teeth implanted in her bone."