In 2004, Connie Culp’s husband shot her in the face.
Connie survived but lost her nose and upper jaw. She was left nearly blind, CBS Pittsburgh reports. She had to undergo 3o plastic surgeries.
When Connie was shot, she lost her ability to smell and speak, and she needed a special tube in her neck to breathe, according to CNN. Things looked grim for Connie then — but she would soon make history.
In 2008, after a 22-hour operation, Connie became the recipient of the “first near-total face transplant in the US,” according to CNN. Her facial donator was Anna Kasper, from Lakewood, Ohio.
In 2010, Connie met Anna’s family. She opened up about her transplant then, too, telling CNN, “I can smell now. I can eat steak, I can eat almost any solid foods — so it’s all getting better.”
Ten years on from her groundbreaking and life-changing face transplant, Connie, also a mother of two, spends her days speaking out and inspiring others, helping people with facial deformities, and advocating for organ donation.
Check out the video below to hear more of Connie’s story and to hear from her, and please SHARE this important story on Facebook!
Photos: CBS Local — KDKA Pittsburgh