Connie Culp, in September 2010, after her face transplant. - JASON MILLER / AP / SIPA

The first American to have a face transplant, Connie Culp, died at the age of 57, almost twelve years after the procedure, announced the Cleveland hospital where she was treated. Disfigured by a bullet fired by her husband who had tried to kill her before turning his weapon against him, she had received in December 2008, a transplant on 80% of her face during an operation which had lasted 22 hours.

“We are sad to have lost Connie Culp, the first recipient of a face transplant in the United States. She was an inspiration to everyone here at the Cleveland Clinic, ”the facility in northern Ohio tweeted. She had become the person who lived the longest with a face transplant, underlined in a press release D. Frank Papay who supervises the department of dermatology and cosmetic surgery of the hospital.

Connie Culp, before and after her face transplant. - Cleveland Clinic / Rex / REX / SIPA

The world's first face transplant took place on November 27, 2005 in France. Isabelle Dinoire, disfigured by her dog, had received a nose-lip-chin transplant. She succumbed in April 2016 to a recurrence of a rare malignant tumor, not apparently related to her anti-rejection treatment. On April 13, 2006, a two-thirds facial transplant was performed in China on a farmer attacked by a bear. He had died in July 2008 after switching from anti-rejection drugs to traditional herbal medicines.

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