Update on Charla Nash, 2: Mauling Victim Doing Better Than Expected

CharlaNashridinghorse

Charla on horse 2-3 years ago; daughter Briana standing.

I recently had an e-mail exchange with Michael Nash, the twin brother of Charla Nash. Charla was the victim of a chimpanzee mauling in February of this year. I first wrote a post about her in April and then an update on her condition in May. In April, she had just spoken her first words, her daughter’s name and her nurse’s name, upon waking from a medically induced coma.

Michael tells me now that Charla continues to recover. Most of her physical wounds have healed, and she will soon be discharged to a rehab facility. She is blind and has prosthetic eyes. She also has had several facial-reconstructive surgeries, including the placement of a prosthetic hard palate. A large piece of her scalp was torn off in the attack, and that wound is still being treated (it requires wet-to-dry dressing changes three to four times a day).

Initially, her physicians were concerned about her mental and cognitive recovery. But it seems she’s doing better than expected. Her family is dedicated to supporting her throughout this ordeal: two brothers take turns staying in Cleveland to be near her at the hospital, and Brianna, her daughter, has been staying there over the summer. Yet still, Michael says, Charla is down at times. Here are Michael’s words about one of his most recent visits to her.

One day she told me I could go home. I told her I could stay a while longer. She said she meant to go home and get on with my life. I said I could not do that. She said that I could and I responded that I couldn’t and you know why I could not. She asked why and I said, because you would not leave me. She said that she would and I responded that you are lying, your nose is growing. Then she got very quiet but I am sure it was a turning point. Since then I feel she is back 100%.

He is planning a big surprise in August for Charla, but hasn’t revealed what it will be. Visit the Charla Nash Trust Website if you’d like to keep updated on Charla’s condition, or make a donation to help cover medical bills.

Christine Moffa, MS, RN, clinical editor

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2016-11-21T13:24:53+00:00 July 23rd, 2009|Nursing|3 Comments

About the Author:

Senior editor/social media strategy, American Journal of Nursing, and editor of AJN Off the Charts.

3 Comments

  1. Linda A. Hibson September 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    jm- Thank you for your response to my request.

    lh

  2. jm September 27, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Hi Linda,
    The post you read was a few years old, and unfortunately we don’t have any contact information for Charla at this time. A former editor here had made the initial contact with her brother but we don’t have his contact information at this time.
    Jacob

  3. Linda A. Hibson September 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    I would like to send a healing card from the Sacred Heart League to Charla Nash. Could you please e-mail me an address to mail it to?

    Thank you

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