"I'M NOT A MONSTER!"

The first U.S. patient to receive a face transplant came forward yesterday to show off the results and to praise the doctors and the unnamed donor who made it possible. The 46-year-old Connie Culp underwent a 22-hour surgery in December to receive her new face. Her expressions are still a bit wooden, but she can talk, smile, smell and taste her food again. Her speech is at times a little tough to understand. Her face is bloated and squarish. Her skin droops in big folds that doctors plan to pare away as her circulation improves and her nerves grow, animating her new muscles. But Culp had nothing but praise for those who made her new face possible.

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