Chimp attack victim suffers setback

Jan. 27, 2010 at 3:49 PM

CLEVELAND, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- The Connecticut woman mauled by a friend's pet chimpanzee has been told she is not a candidate for a face and hand transplant, her lawyer says.

Charla Nash, now blind and missing both hands, has been hospitalized at Cleveland Clinic for months. Bill Monaco, a Hauppauge, N.Y., lawyer, said the clinic, which did the first face transplant in the United States, has said it cannot "adequately handle the hand transplant," ABC News reported.

"So a facility that could handle both would need to do it," Monaco said. "They've been great to Charla, but they can't take her all the way that we had hoped."

Nash was so severely injured in the attack last February doctors were surprised she had survived. Her friend, Sandra Herold, had called her and asked for help because the chimpanzee, Travis, had taken her car keys.

Monaco said Nash needs the hand transplant because she cannot see and a "blind person typically uses their hands for sight." He said a face transplant would make her life easier, but she would have trouble adjusting to prosthetic hands.

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