Gruesome Details Revealed In Chimp Attack

Charla Nash is lucky to be alive.

That’s what the first medical workers who saw her after she was attacked by a chimpanzee are saying.

 "Honestly, what I saw, no one could prepare for. We do a lot of routine medical calls, a decent amount of car accidents with minor trauma, but no one could prepare for what we saw that day," said Andrea Repko, a paramedic at Stamford Emergency Medical Services.  "It was amazing to us she had these type of injuries and they were survivable," said paramedic Bill Ackley

Ackley was one of the first to see an unrecognizable Nash after Travis, a chimpanzee who appeared in television commercials, mauled her.

"I would liken it to a machine-type accident," Ackley said. "She had some crushing injuries to her hands and some tearing injuries to her hands."

The accident occurred in the Stamford home of her friend, Sandra Herold, who was the owner of the chimpanzee. Nash approached Travis, and Travis uncharacteristically attacked. According to medics, Nash’s hair had been ripped out, her eyes injured, and hands disfigured.

Ackley and medic Matt Groves found Nash, unrecognizable, face down in Herold's driveway. The first police officers on the scene couldn't tell if the body was male or female, and warned dispatchers that the victim's face was ripped away.

Groves confirmed that Nash was breathing, and they lifted her onto a stretcher. Nash was taken to Stamford Hospital.

"She just had disfiguring injuries," Ackley told the AP. "Her nose was still there. There was some disfigurement. She did have injuries to her mouth that caused quite a bit of bleeding. It was very difficult to determine where everything was because of the blood."

Thursday she and her family were transported by private jet to the Cleveland Clinic.

“She has suffered severe trauma to her face, scalp and hands,” Daniel Alam, section head of aesthetic and reconstructive surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, said Friday.

Her medical team consists of experts in facial plastic surgery, plastic surgery, infectious diseases, ophthalmology, orthopedics, social work, intensive care, nursing, critical transport and more.

“It will be several days before we can determine the full extent of her injuries, therefore it will take some time before we can determine what will be the next steps in her care,” he said.

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