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Connie Culp
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    (March 26, 1963-July 29, 2020)
    Resides near Hopedale, Ohio
    First U.S. recipient of a successful face transplant
    Team of surgeons from the Cleveland Clinic performed the 22-hour operation (December 10, 2008)
    Must take anti-tissue rejection drugs the rest of her life
    She lost her face as a result of a fight outside a bar with her husband.
    Thomas G. Culp shot her and then himself with a shotgun in September 2004 in a failed murder-suicide (both survived).
    After meeting with him before sentencing, she joked her husband better put her on a pedestal once he's released from prison.
    Unlike fellow face transplant recipient Isabelle Dinoire, her face looks a bit more like the dead donor than her own.
    Unlike Dinoire, the blast permanently blinded her and she will never see what her new face looks like.
    Time and money for her transplant were donated to her, raising questions about others in need of such procedures, including wounded vets from the War in Iraq.
    She was running a successful painting and contracting business with her husband before the fateful night.
    Unbelievably, her husband was sentenced to just seven years in prison for attempted murder.
    She has forgiven him for the attempt on her life, though when a reporter asked her about the day he is to be released she quoted, 'We don’t want to go there, OK?'
    She endured over 30 facial operations before the transplant.
    Close to 80% of her face had to be reconstructed due to the blast taking her eyesight, lower eyelids, cheeks, nose, upper jaw, lips and roof of her mouth.
    After the surgery she regained feeling in her face, her smell, taste, and could breath without aid of a ventilator.
    At first seeking anonymity, she decided to come forward as a positive force to show others with debilitating facial injuries that it's OK to want to be treated with dignity and not to 'judge people who don't look the same as you do.'
    She has taken a new job as an advocate for victims of burns or other disfigurements.

Credit: Scar Tactics

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