Recipient Of First US Face Transplant, Meets Donor Family

Connie-CulpConnie Culp, 47, who received a face transplant after her own face was shattered by a shotgun blast in 2004, finally met the family of the donor who gave her a new face, this weekend.

Culp, who could not walk down the street without being stared at, underwent the first full face transplant surgery in the country in December 2008,

Till now, Culp knew little about the woman who had given her new face or her family, as they never contacted her, she told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in August.

However, donor Anna Kasper’s family two years after losing her broke their silence and stepped forward to share their story. They are doing so, as they hope to raise awareness about organ donation.

Two weeks before Christmas 2008, Anna suffered a fatal heart attack, going into cardiac arrest while on life support at the hospital. But, while her body stabilised, her brain was dead and in keeping with her wishes, the family agreed to donate her body, a decision which would help 50 strangers, including an unusual request for transplanting her face.

And, two years after losing a beloved wife and mother, Anna’s family decided they wanted to meet Connie Culp, impressed by her remarkable spirit seen in previous interviews.

Though feeling anxious, Culp decided to meet the Kaspers in person, finally doing so this weekend with hugs and tears, all round.