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7/16/2019 8:55:54 AM

Meet Connie Culp, the woman who received the world's most extensive face transplant

Warning: these pictures below contain images which some people may find disturbing

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

Connie Culp, who underwent the first face transplant surgery in the U.S., speaks to the media at a news conference at the Cleveland Clinic

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

Connie Culp, after an injury to her face, left, and then as she appears today

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

A CT scan of Connie Culp`s face before and after the transplant

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"

Connie Culp is helped to the podium by her head surgeon, Dr. Maria Siemionow, right, as well as Renee Bennett

Connie Culp, before the injury to her face would lead her to become the first face transplant patient in the United State

This is her original face, she was shot in the face by her husband in Hopedale, Ohio, before he turned the gun on himself. her husband Thomas Culp, who also survived the apparent murder-suicide attempt, was jailed for seven years

Connie Culp, after an injury to her face, left, and then as she appears today

However, her expressions remain somewhat wooden and her speech is not always easily comprehensible. Her square-shaped face droops heavily and is bloated, a result of doctors transplanting extra tissue because they thought some of it might be rejected

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