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December 27th, 2010
02:04 PM ET

Face transplant patient can eat, smell again

Connie Culp, who received a face transplant in a landmark procedure at the Cleveland Clinic two years ago, spoke to CNN this morning about living with her new face.

She recently met the family of the donor, which was "scary at first" but "we had a really good time," she told CNN. The woman who donated her face, Anna Kasper of Lakewood, Ohio, worked in a nursing home.

Kasper donated enough parts of her body to help 50 people, including Culp.

Culp has regained her sense of smell, and can eat most solid foods including steak. Before the operations - she has gone through 30 surgeries, and has a few more to go - she breathed through an opening in her neck, could not smell or speak, and had trouble seeing. A gunshot wound left her with these injuries.

While the procedure is called a "face transplant," Culp did not actually take on the face of Kasper. Instead, surgeons have given Culp a combination of her own face and her donor's face.

"I think my face is actually starting to come back a little bit," Culp said.


soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Emma1227

    Thanks for whoever removed those offensive posts...please ignore mine as it no longer applies to the rude ramblings of rude people. I am happy for this lady – God bless – you are fortunate!

    December 27, 2010 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. thor

    Amazing. Good results. This is why surgeons make so much money.

    December 27, 2010 at 14:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. speedro

    This story makes me happy.

    December 27, 2010 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. KRC

    Why can't people just try being nice and not making fun of the innocent? Sure some stories are ridiculous, and I can think and post snarky comments, but why not just try thinking nice thoughts and saying something nice once in a while. You know who you are.......someday you will wish you were a better person......

    December 27, 2010 at 15:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CKWhitney

      It is sad that people can't post somewhere without being either superficial or how dumb the article is, which I'm guessing is what a rude poster did that people are referring to. Even in everyday life I don't go, man she/he is so fat or ugly or whatever... I just never had that rude "gene". What is it about people that act like that? I think if you aren't perfect then you have no room to insult someone else. Now I am not one of those nice do-gooders, I am really mean when provoked, but I don't insult people based on superficial extremities.. it seems really immature.

      January 22, 2011 at 20:55 | Report abuse |
  5. Sara

    What a wonderful thing. May she be blessed even more than she has already.

    December 27, 2010 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. william

    Wow. What do you say?

    December 27, 2010 at 16:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. CWBarrett

    May she find fulfillment.

    December 27, 2010 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.