Connie Culp, First Face Transplant Recipient in U.S., Dies at 57

The Four Percent

Connie Culp, the first patient in the United States to receive a face transplant, died on Wednesday at the Cleveland Clinic, which had performed her procedure in 2008. She was 57.

She died of complications from an infection that was unrelated to her transplant, a spokeswoman for the hospital said. The clinic confirmed Ms. Culp’s death on Twitter.

Ms. Culp was the longest-living face transplant patient in the world, the spokeswoman said.

“She was a great pioneer and her decision to undergo a sometimes-daunting procedure is an enduring gift for all of humanity,” said Dr. Frank Papay, chairman of the Cleveland Clinic’s Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Institute.

Dr. Papay was part of the surgical team that performed Ms. Culp’s 23-hour operation in 2008, which replaced her damaged face with that of a recently deceased woman.

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