Connie Culp, the Ohio woman who made international headlines when she received the nation’s first near-total face transplant, has died. She was 57.
The Cleveland Clinic, where Culp underwent the historic procedure in 2008, confirmed her death in a statement Friday.
“Connie was an incredibly brave, vibrant woman, and an inspiration to many,” said Dr. Frank Papay, chair of the clinic’s Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Institute.
“Her strength was evident in the fact that she had been the longest-living face transplant patient to date,” Papay said.
“She was a great pioneer and her decision to undergo a sometimes-daunting procedure is an enduring gift for all of humanity.”
Her cause and day of death was not released.
Culp was left severely disfigured in 2004 when her husband, Thomas, blasted her with a shotgun inside their Hopedale, Ohio, apartment.
The blast shattered her nose, cheeks, the roof of her mouth and an eye. Hundreds of fragments of shotgun pellet and bone