Connie Kolb, 57, died the first patient to undergo a face transplant in the United States, who performed her operation in 2008.
According to medical sources, Kony died from complications from an infection unrelated to the transplant, confirming that Culp was the largest patient who had a face transplant in the world.
“She was a wonderful pioneer and her decision to undergo a dangerous operation like this sometimes is a permanent gift to all of humanity,” said Dr. Frank Papai, president of the Institute of Dermatology and Plastic Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic.
The operation took Culp 23 hours in 2008, which replaced her damaged face with the face of a recently deceased woman, and the face transplant was the most comprehensive and complex at the time, with three face transplants performed before Culp: two in France and one in China.
We are saddened by the loss of Connie Culp, the first face transplant recipient in the U.S.
She was an inspiration to all of us at Cleveland Clinic. pic.twitter.com/gvuJCzf7Jd
— ClevelandClinicNews (@CleClinicNews) July 31, 2020