Connie Culp, First Person to Receive a Face Transplant in the US, Dies at 57 –– What Happened?
Cleveland Clinic's Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Institute confirmed that Connie Culp, who was the first person in the United States to undergo a face transplant has died.
On July 29, 2020, Connie Culp died. She was the first patient in the United States to successfully undergo a face transplant. She was 57-years-old. The cause of her death has not been made public.
Cleveland Clinic's Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Institute confirmed the news on Twitter as they praised Culp for her contribution to the medical community.
We are saddened by the loss of Connie Culp, the first face transplant recipient in the U.S.— ClevelandClinicNews (@CleClinicNews) July 31, 2020
She was an inspiration to all of us at Cleveland Clinic. pic.twitter.com/gvuJCzf7Jd
Dr. Frank Papay, who was one of the members of the medical team that worked with Culp during her groundbreaking surgery in 2008, paid tribute to her in a heartfelt message.
The doctor called her an inspiration and reflected on her bravery, describing her as a vibrant woman.
Culp met the family of her donor in 2010. She was a woman named Anna Kasper.
A team of eight surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic performed a 22-hour-operation to replace almost 80% of her face.
Connie Culp, the first face transplant recipient in the US, has died, according to the Cleveland Clinic, which performed the surgery. https://t.co/ChVOi5UAbg— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 1, 2020
The organs used to reconstruct her face were all provided by one donor. These included her upper lip, nose, palate, and front teeth. She was also given a prosthetic eye.
In 2011, Culp told People that her new face gave her a sense of strength and helped her feel more positive about who was after the shooting.
In Dr. Papay's tribute to Culp, he praised her for agreeing to undergo the surgery and said it showed her strength. He said:
"She was a great pioneer and her decision to undergo a sometimes-daunting procedure is an enduring gift for all of humanity."
Connie Culp, the first patient in the U.S. to receive a face transplant, died on Wednesday at the Cleveland Clinic, which had performed her procedure in 2008. She was 57. https://t.co/uat0EN2EAm— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 1, 2020
According to CNN, Culp's medical team noted that her surgery was not a cosmetic procedure. They revealed that is was a necessary surgery that they performed to help restore some of her essential bodily functions.
Culp met the family of her donor in 2010. She was a woman named Anna Kasper. Anna's husband, Ron Kasper told a newspaper that he agreed to the surgery because he knew it was what his wife would have wanted.
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