Chimp attack victim Charla Nash's body 'moderately rejecting' face transplant

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Chimpanzee Attack Victim's Body Rejecting Face Transplant

HARTFORD (FOX) — The Connecticut woman who underwent a face transplant five years ago after being attacked by a chimpanzee is back in a Boston hospital after doctors discovered her body is rejecting the transplant.

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Charla Nash says doctors have decided to end an experimental drug treatment and put her back on her original medication in the hopes of reversing the rejection.

"I appreciate everyone's concern. I feel perfect. I didn't even know I was having a rejection episode," Nash said. "While I am disappointed that I cannot continue in theresearch project, I am proud of my contributions to date, and am hopeful that it will help those wounded serving our country, and others needing transplants in the future."

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Chimp attack victim Charla Nash's body 'moderately rejecting' face transplant
Zion Harvey, 8, of Baltimore, seems to marvel at his new right hand while in his hospital bed on July 27, 2015. Zion lost his hands and feet to a bacterial disease when he was 2, but had a double hand transplant at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in early July 2015, the first pediatric double hand transplant. (Clem Murray/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS via Getty Images)
Pattie Ray holds a book so her son, Zion Harvey, 8, can read it while in his hospital bed on July 27, 2015, at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Zion had a double hand transplant in early July 2015, the first pediatric double hand transplant ever performed. The Baltimore boy lost his hands and feet to a bacterial disease when he was as a two-year-old. (Clem Murray/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS via Getty Images)
Double-hand transplant recipient eight-year-old Zion Harvey smiles during a news conference Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Philadelphia. Surgeons said Harvey of Baltimore who lost his limbs to a serious infection, has become the youngest patient to receive a double-hand transplant. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Double-hand transplant recipient eight-year-old Zion Harvey arrives to a news conference with his mother Pattie Ray Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Philadelphia. Surgeons said Harvey of Baltimore who lost his limbs to a serious infection, has become the youngest patient to receive a double-hand transplant. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
As Dr. L. Scott Levin holds his hand, double-hand transplant recipient eight-year-old Zion Harvey moves his fingers during a news conference Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Philadelphia. Surgeons said Harvey of Baltimore who lost his limbs to a serious infection, has become the youngest patient to receive a double-hand transplant. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Double-hand transplant recipient eight-year-old Zion Harvey smiles during a news conference Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Philadelphia. Surgeons said Harvey of Baltimore who lost his limbs to a serious infection, has become the youngest patient to receive a double-hand transplant. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
As Dr. L. Scott Levin holds his hand, double-hand transplant recipient eight-year-old Zion Harvey moves his fingers during a news conference Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Philadelphia. Surgeons said Harvey of Baltimore who lost his limbs to a serious infection, has become the youngest patient to receive a double-hand transplant. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Pattie Ray speaks with her son double-hand transplant recipient eight-year-old Zion Harvey during a news conference Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Philadelphia. Surgeons said Harvey of Baltimore who lost his limbs to a serious infection, has become the youngest patient to receive a double-hand transplant. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Zion Harvey, 8, of Baltimore, waves to the audience with his new right hand as his mother, Pattie Ray, leads him onstage to the at a news conference at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia on Tuesday, July 28, 2015. Zion, who lost his hands and feet to a bacterial disease as a two-year-old, had a double hand transplant at CHOP in early July 2015, the first pediatric double hand transplant. In the background is his step-father Kevon Gant. (Clem Murray/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS via Getty Images)
Zion Harvey, 8, of Baltimore, shows off his new hands after transplant surgery at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia on July 27, 2015. Zion lost his hands and feet to a bacterial disease when he was 2, but had a double hand transplant in Philadelphia in early July 2015, the first pediatric double hand transplant. (Clem Murray/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS via Getty Images)
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Nash had been taking part in a military-funded experiment in which doctors at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital tried to wean her off the anti-rejection drugs she had been taking since the 2011 operation.

"The viability of Charla's face transplant is not in jeopardy," said Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, director of Plastic Surgery Transplantation. "Overall, she is doing well. Charla is currently experiencing a moderate rejection episode, which face transplant patients experience on occasion. Charla was previously participating in a research study that is designed to determine whether it is possible for composite tissue allograft recipients to safely taper off of conventional anti rejection medications. Per the study design, we have removed Charla from this research protocol due to this rejection episode. She has resumed her original medication, and will most likely leave the hospital in the next day or two. We expect this rejection episode to be resolved within the coming week."

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