Woman Receives First Ever 'Face Off' Surgery

Her husband began bullying her, and even on some occasions, struck her.


Meet the woman

?I remember him lifting the gun, what he said to me, and then firing, she said.


Connie and her husband, Tom Culp, were married for some time and even had kids together.

A few years after the traumatic incident, Connie was put in line to receive the first ever face transplant in the United States.


Just before things took a turn for the worse, Connie began noticing some signs.

Needless to say, after being shot in the face by a shotgun, it's not going to look pretty.


After getting into a quarrel, her husband aimed a gun at her and shot her in the face, leaving her disfigured.

The damage was extensive, but doctors were certain they could help her.


While it seemed things could only get worse, a glimmer of hope came.

After passing away from a heart attack, Anna Kasper was shown to be a match for Connie.


First, she had to have X-rays done to assess the damage fully.

She said, "I know it's not my face, but I feel thankful that I have one now."


Her nose had been destroyed, along with the roof of her mouth and cheeks. What's worse, she went blind in one eye.

It is worth mentioning that Connie forgave her husband and planned to rekindle their relationship after he got out of prison. Only after her daughter asked her, "Mom, what kind of example would you be setting for me if you went back to the man who shot your face off?" did Connie find the confidence to end the marriage with her now ex-husband.


The only thing stopping Connie from receiving her transplant was the need to find a matching donor, though that donor eventually came.


After a 23-hour-long surgery, Connie emerged a new person.

When Ruth was 20 weeks pregnant, doctors told her and her husband Paul that their baby Lydia would be born with a rare brain disorder. They advised the couple to terminate the pregnancy, but they refused.


Over the years, Connie's face kept undergoing more and more changes, eventually giving her the confidence to lead a more normal life.

Lydia was born with her head swollen to the size of an adult, weighing over 11 pounds. The conditions are hydrocephalus and Alobar holoprosencephaly which can both be clearly seen with baby Parker.


It truly is amazing how far science has come in being able to help people especially when you see how far Connie has come.

Doctors repeatedly told Ruth it wasn't worth to giving birth to Lydia, and she wouldn't live past a few months. But Ruth said: "She's a strong ox. She inspires us and her strength keeps us alive. She is our miracle."