Charla Nash, the woman whose face was disfigured by a chimpanzee: she tore off her eyelids, nose and jaw

February 16, 2009 became a real nightmare for Charla Nash. That day he visited his friend Sandra Herold's house. in Stamford, Connecticut (USA) like so many other times. But what started as a friendly meeting ended in a heartbreaking moment that would mark Nash's life forever.

Unfortunately, during that visit the chimpanzee unexpectedly pounced on her, throwing her against her car and dragging her across the ground. The brutality was extreme. Travis disfigured Charlatearing off his eyelids, nose, jaw and lips.

It all goes back to the weekend of February 14 and 15, 2009, Travis, the Herold family chimpanzee, had been part of the household for more than a decade. Adopted three days after birth, he grew up as another member of the family.

Sandra Herold and Charla Nash decided to escape their routine a little and took a trip to the Mohegan Sun Casino in Montville, Connecticut. Sandra took her friend to the casino's beauty salon before touring the place, a rare outing for both of them.

However, when they returned on February 16, the situation took a dramatic turn. Sandra Herold found the chimpanzee Travis extremely nervous.

In an attempt to calm him down, Sandra put a dose of the tranquilizer drug Xanax in her afternoon tea, although he did not manage to relax the chimpanzee. The animal, knowing the routines of the house, took Sandra's keys from the kitchen counter, opened the door and went out to the patio.

Concerned by the chimpanzee's attitude, Sandra asked Charla to help her bring the animal back to the house. To try to attract him, the woman showed him her favorite toy, a Tickle-Me-Elmo doll.

At that moment, the chimpanzee completely changed his attitudehe stopped on his two legs and unexpectedly lunged at her, throwing her against his car and dragging her across the ground. The brutality was extreme. Travis disfigured Charlatearing off his eyelids, nose, jaw and lips.

Sandra Herold desperately tried to stop Travis, hitting it with a shovel and then stabbing it with a butcher knife, but the chimpanzee did not stop attacking. Finally, Sandra ran to her house and desperately called 911.

“He's killing my friend! Please hurry! “She is eating it!”, he shouted, barely understandable because of the panic. When police arrived at the scene, they found Travis wandering around the area, covered in blood.

An officer shot him several times, but the wounded chimpanzee ran into the house and eventually died in his room. Pieces of flesh, fingers and almost half of the victim's blood covered the patio.

Despite the severity of his injuries, Charla Nash was still alive and managed to grab the officer's leg when he approached, incredulous, to her body. Transferred in critical condition to the Cleveland Clinic three days after the attack, she spent 15 months in intensive care.

A tough recovery

15 years after suffering that attack that left her unrecognizable, Charla Nash continues fighting to rebuild her life. Today, the woman who survived the brutal chimpanzee attack lives in a specialized center, where she receives the care and attention that her multiple surgeries and her delicate state of health require of her.

His current life is marked by resilience and hopealthough also because of the physical and emotional consequences that still persist.

Charla Nash continues fighting to rebuild her lifeThe reason

Charla spends her days listening to audiobooks and doing facial exercises. Although it has lost much of its independence, it has not lost its spirit. “Don't think about the past and what happened,” advises Charla. “Think about what you are going to be in the future and what you want to do next. Never give up”. she holds her.

Despite his efforts, Charla's life is a constant battle. “I lost a lot of independence. I could change the tire on my truck and now I can't even feed myself. It is very difficult to live. Not even living, half living. Sometimes you want to cry, you want to go out, you want some kind of home. “I don't know what my future is, that's what scares me,” he confessed to the Boston Herald in 2014.

The uncertainty about their future is a persistent shadow, a constant reminder of the fragility of their situation. The impact of that attack on his health was devastating. Charla has undergone countless surgeries, including a face and hand transplant, although the latter had to be removed due to infections.

In 2016, he suffered a new crisis when his body rejected the face transplant, forcing her to be hospitalized urgently. Fortunately, she managed to survive this complication, but the incident aggravated the precarious state of her health.