Connie Culp

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

Connie Culp, who had been shot in the face by her husband, became the longest-living face transplant patient to date, said Dr. Frank Papay of the Cleveland Clinic

Connie Culp, outside the building where she was shot by her husband in Hopedale, Ohio on May 11, 2011.
Laurentiu Garofeanu / Barcroft U / Getty Images

Connie Culp, the first face transplant recipient in the United States, has died, according to the Cleveland Clinic, which performed the surgery.

Cleveland Clinic confirmed the news on Twitter Friday saying, "We are saddened by the loss of Connie Culp," who they described as "an inspiration to all of us at Cleveland Clinic."

She was 57.

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The exact cause of death has not been released, but Culp had already been in the hospital for several days, NBC-affiliate WKYC in Cleveland, Ohio reported.

"Connie was an incredibly brave, vibrant woman and an inspiration to many. Her strength was evident in the fact that she had been the longest-living face transplant patient to date," Dr. Frank Papay, chair of the Cleveland Clinic's Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Institute, said in a statement. "She was a great pioneer and her decision to undergo a sometimes daunting procedure is an enduring gift for all of humanity."

Read the full story on NBCNews.com

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