Connie Culp, a woman who received the most extensive face transplant performed to date, stepped forward on Tuesday night to show off the results of the work. Only her upper eyelids, forehead, lower lip and chin remained her own and she was unable to breathe unaided, eat solid food, smell or smile.
A team of surgeons transplanted 80 per cent of the face, including a nose, cheeks, lower eyelids, upper jaw, palate and some bone, all taken from the same unknown dead woman. Mrs Culp's identity was kept secret until Tuesday when she appeared briefly at a press conference at the hospital in Cleveland. "Well, I guess I'm the one you came to see today," she said. "While I know you all want to focus on me, I think it's more important you focus on the donor family that made it so I could have this Christmas present".