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Connie Culp, the first person to receive a near-total face transplant in the US, has died

August 1, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Connie Culp, the first person in the US to receive a near-total face transplant, has died, according to the Cleveland Clinic, where the procedure was performed in 2008. She was 57 years old.

(CNN)Connie Culp, the first person in the US to receive a near-total face transplant, has died, according to the Cleveland Clinic, where the procedure was performed in 2008.

Culp died Wednesday of complications from an infection unrelated to her transplant, Cleveland Clinic spokeswoman Andrea Pacetti told CNN.

"Connie was an incredibly brave, vibrant woman and an inspiration to many," said Dr. Frank Papay, chair of Cleveland Clinic's Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Institute, who was part of Connie's surgical team.

"Her strength was evident in the fact that she had been the longest-living face transplant patient to date," Papay said in a statement.

Culp lost the mid-portion of her face after being shot by her husband in 2004.

In December 2008, she underwent a 22-hour transplant surgery led by Dr. Maria Siemionow, in which the face of a deceased donor was shaped and fitted to Culp.

It was the first near-total face transplant in the country.

In 2010, Culp met the family of her donor, Anna Kasper of Lakewood, Ohio.

Kasper's widower, Ron Kasper, told The Plain Dealer that the family agreed to donate her face for Culp's surgery, telling the newspaper that "the overriding factor was we knew it was what Anna would've wanted. "

Culp told CNN that year that she was happy with the transplant.

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