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Chimp attack victim may have brain damage

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut woman mauled by a chimpanzee two weeks ago lost her hands, nose, lips and eyelids and may be blind and suffering brain damage, and hospital officials say it's still unclear if her condition can improve at all.

The Cleveland Clinic, revealing the specific injuries Wednesday for the first time, told The

Associated Press in a statement that 55-year-old Charla Nash also lost the bone structure in her facewhen she was attacked on Feb. 16 in Stamford, Conn.

Her wounds have been stabilized, but "critical issues still remain related to a significant traumaticbrain injury and injuries to her eyes that threaten her vision," the hospital said.

Neurosurgeons and ophthalmologists are working to evaluate and manage her injuries, but "the fullextent of these injuries and her potential for recovery, if any, remain unclear at this time," thehospital said.

Nash remains sedated in the hospital, which performed the nation's first face transplant inDecember. Hospital officials say it's too early to know if she will be a candidate for a face transplant.

The family and hospital said they are grateful to those across the country who have been concernedabout Nash's recovery.

The 200-pound chimp was shot and killed by police. Police are still deciding whether its owner,Sandra Herold, of Stamford, will face criminal charges.

Herold's attorney, Joe Gerardi, declined to comment Wednesday.

Herold had asked Nash to come to her home the day of the attack to help lure Travis back into herhouse. Herold has speculated that the chimp was trying to protect her and attacked Nash becauseshe had changed her hairstyle, was driving a different car and was holding a stuffed toy in front ofher face to get Travis' attention.

When he was younger, Travis starred in TV commercials for Old Navy and Coca-Cola, made anappearance on the "Maury Povich Show" and took part in a television pilot.


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