The Woman Who Lost Her Face

A quick and fascinating book (2012) by NBC News and Meredith Vieira.

Bravo! to NBC News and Meredith Vieira for taking such a serious and graceful approach to what others took as tabloid.

This is the story of Charla Nash, who was viciously attacked by her friend’s 200-pound chimpanzee in February of 2009.

I read this 85-page book during my lunch break, and could not put it down.

Although the attack was horrible and the injuries severe (understatement), the book does not sensationalize the chimp attack. It also does not share images that are too graphic, though I recommend you proceed with caution.

The book focuses on Charla and the more positive aspects of her situation, such as her will to live. It does touch upon the hard parts of the situation, but all in all it is really a very hope-filled book.

It also shares the story of her incredible face transplant, which I am amazed at how well the doctors did! Truly remarkable!

The book is free on Amazon. I added a link in case you want to read it 🙂

안녕! Bye! Ciao!



  1. I remember this story when it first happened. It was so sad and tragic. Thanks for sharing an update. I’m curious and gonna look up now what happened to this woman. Will to live is certainly a great way to describe her resilience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was sad for everyone involved, including the chimp, who was actually exhibiting normal chimp behavior. I think people tend to anthropomorphize chimps/gorillas because they can be so human-like, but they are powerful and ultimately wild.

      I was really amazed by the face transplant, and I hope she’s doing well these days!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I read more about it and it sounds like the chimp was grieving his human father. And the human mother also had given him Xanax (anti anxiety drug) right before the attack. Sad for all involved.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It was a bad combination all around, but they do this to each other in the wild when they fight. It’s… not pretty. I feel like expecting Travis (the chimp) to grieve or deal with daily life like a human was very unfair to him, and ultimately sucked for everyone.

        But to end on a positive note, I believe they changed the laws in that area, so that chimps are no longer “pets” and can live in sanctuaries instead of someone’s living room. Probably better for them to be in nature 🙂


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