Culp died Wednesday of problems from an an infection unrelated to her transplant, Cleveland Clinic spokeswoman Andrea Pacetti instructed Carihargater.
“Connie was an extremely courageous, vibrant girl and an inspiration to many,” stated Dr. Frank Papay, chair of Cleveland Clinic’s Dermatology and Plastic Surgical procedure Institute, who was a part of Connie’s surgical group.
“Her power was evident in the truth that she had been the longest-living face transplant affected person to this point,” Papay stated in a press release. “She was an important pioneer and her determination to bear a generally daunting process is a permanent present for all of humanity.”
Culp misplaced the mid-portion of her face after being shot by her husband in 2004. The Ohio mom of two was left partially blind, unable to scent and converse, and he or she needed to depend on a surgical opening in her neck to breathe.
In December 2008, she underwent a 22-hour transplant surgical procedure led by Dr. Maria Siemionow, by which the face of a deceased donor was formed and fitted to Culp. Layers of tissue, bone, muscle and blood vessels, nerve grafts, arteries and veins had been related, and docs stuffed within the lacking elements of her face.
Culp instructed Carihargater that yr that she was proud of the transplant. “I can scent now,” she stated. “I can eat steak; I can eat virtually any stable meals — so it is all getting higher.”
Culp turned an advocate of organ donation and delivered speeches about her expertise.