First Glimpse at Graphic Images of Chimp Attack Victim

WARNING: Disturbing images of Charla Nash below

By LeAnne Gendreau and Andrew Pergam
|  Wednesday, Nov 11, 2009  |  Updated 4:12 PM EDT
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Animals in the News

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A photograph of Charla Nash with the chimpanzee.

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Viewers got their first glimpse of chimp attack victim Charla Nash on Wednesday -- and the pictures are disturbing.

Nash, 56, was disfigured in February when Travis, her friend's 200-pound chimp, attacked her in Stamford, Conn.

We know it was a brutal attack. She lost her nose, eyes, lips and hands but, until now, all updates on her condition have come through her family and attorneys.

This week she sat down with Oprah Winfrey to tell her own story, free of any bandages. It was the first time she's been seen in public without her bandages or the veil she uses to cover her face.

Nash shared a few of the difficulties she's faced during her rehabilitation: she must eat everything through a straw and can't breathe through her nose. But she isn't in pain and often goes for walks, Nash told Oprah.

It feels like "patches of tape or gauze" are covering her face and she doesn't remember anything from the animal's attack, she said.

The segment has aired in Chicago, but not yet on the East Coast. 

Oprah spoke with the media on Tuesday about the interview and choked up as she relayed the experience.

“She’s a good mother and, like all good mothers, she’s worried about her daughter,” Oprah said. “She worried about whether her daughter is going to choose the appropriate prom dress and worried that she won’t be there for that. I have to tell you, it’s one of those stories about the resilience of the human spirit that makes us all take a look a different look at our lives.”

And that story of resilience seems to be what Oprah's viewers are taking away from the interview.  

Twitter user JustALetta wrote, "It is absolutely astonishing how strong the human spirit can be. Charla is truly the most inspiring person out there!"

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