Connie Culp, the first person to receive a face transplant in America, died on Wednesday. She was 57 years old and by far the longest-living face transplant to date.
Her death was announced by the Cleveland Clinic, where she had an almost 100 percent facial transplant procedure last 2008. Details of her death were not disclosed, but Cleaveland Clinic said Connie Culp has been in the hospital for more than a month. The clinic’s spokeswoman Andrea Pacetti told international news sources that Connie Culp’s death is not related to the transplant.
Connie Culp was described by many as “an incredibly brave and vibrant woman.” Dr. Frank Papay, who is the chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Institute, said Connie Culp is “an inspiration to many.”
According to Papay, Connie was a great pioneer. He said Connie’s decision to undergo a “sometimes daunting procedure” is an enduring gift for all of humanity.
The Tragedy of Connie Culp
In the first few months after the surgery, Connie has had little control over the muscles in her new face. However, her facial nerves had regenerated after two years, and she was able to speak more clearly.
Connie Culp, the woman who underwent the first face transplant in the U.S. in 2008 after her husband blasted her with a shotgun in a failed murder-suicide, has died at the age of 57
That poor, dear woman. May she Rest In Peace. ? https://t.co/N5qaGhzQ6y
— IntoTheMystic (@Mystic_Sailor) August 1, 2020
Her ex-husband Thomas was released from prison in 2011, but was he and Culp never reconciled and lived together.