[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/HEALTH/05/04/face.transplant.patient/art.face.transplant.cnn.jpg caption="Connie Culp, 46, was identified as the first recipient of a face transplant in the United States."]
America's first face transplant recipient is no longer a secret. Her name is Connie Culp. The 46-year-old mother of two spoke at a news conference at the Cleveland Clinic today, where the groundbreaking operation was performed five months ago.
"I guess I'm the one you came to see today," she said as she showed off the results of the transplant.
It's been a long journey for Connie. Five years ago, she had been shot in the face from just eight feet away by her husband, then he turned the gun on himself. Neither died. He went to prison for seven years. She struggled to survive. The shotgun blast destroyed her nose, cheeks and one eye. She lived in constant pain. She couldn't breathe on her own and relied on a tube in her windpipe to help her. Connie underwent 30 surgical procedures to try to fix her face. None worked.
That all changed back in December when she underwent the 22-hour face transplant surgery.
Tonight 360 MD Sanjay Gupta shows us how the procedure was done and see how it has transformed Connie's life for the better.
Would you undergo a face transplant if needed?
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