Donor’s Family and Face-Transplant Recpient Meet For First Time

Due to the generosity and kindness of the family of Anna Kasper, Connie Culp became the world’s first recipient of an almost total face transplant in 2008. Today, 2 years after the history-making surgery, the family of Anna, who died suddenly of a heart attack in December of 2008, met with Connie.

The meeting was an emotional, private event, with laughing, crying and talking.

“It was kind of awkward at first, because we didn’t know what to say,” Connie said Sunday, back at her home in rural southeastern Ohio, in the small town of  Unionport.

“But it was great. They’re just really nice people. It’s awesome, how much we have in common.”

In 2004 Connie was shot in the face, disfiguring her so entirely that children would run from her, calling her a monster. She was missing an eye, her nose, both of her lower eyelids, her upper lip and her top teeth. She had almost no vision and she was forced to eat through a tube and breathe through a hole in her throat.

On December 10, 2008 all that changed. Connie is now 47 and has been thanking her donor as soon as she began publicly appearing, but without knowing the name of the donor she could never thank her by name. Now Connie, with a new lease on life is thanking Anna Kasper at every opportunity.