Chimp Attack Victim's Family Optimistic About Recovery

Charla Nash's family is encouraged by the progress she has made at Ohio's Cleveland Clinic.

Charla Nash, the woman who was brutally mauled by a 200-lb. pet chimpanzee owned by her friend, is talking, moving and responding to complicated commands, according to The Associated Press.

Nash’s brothers, Stephen and Michael, said in a telephone interview that they are hopeful about her recovery and encouraged by the test results they have received for brain damage. They were happy to report that their sister, who is being treated at Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic, said her first word about two weeks ago. She said “Lisa,” the name of her nurse who rushed out of Nash’s room to tell Stephen.

“We gave each other a hug. It makes you cry,” he told the AP.

Nash, 55, lost her hands, nose, lips and eyelids in the attack by a chimp named Travis, who lived with Sandra Herold in her Stamford, Conn., home. Herold called Nash to her home that day because she needed help luring the animal back inside.

According to her brothers, Nash is able to sit in a chair, listen to country music and communicate in simple terms with her nurse. She also asked for her 17-year-old daughter, Brianna, which made Michael Nash smile “from ear to ear.”

“I’m a lot more optimistic now,” Stephen Nash said. “Everything she does is going in the right direction.”

Doctors are not sure whether Nash will ever recall the attack. The family is suing Herold for $50 million in damages, claiming she was reckless and negligent.

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