Against all odds, Charla survived the brutal attack though the chimp broke most of the bones in her face and ripped off her nose, lips, eyes and hands. A large portion of her scalp is missing, she only has one thumb, and doctors have created a hole in her face for her to get fluids through a straw.
For the past nine months, Charla's been recovering at the Cleveland Clinic. On her 56th birthday, she opened up to Oprah. "I'm getting stronger and healthier," Charla says. "I'd like to put across to people's minds that these exotic animals are very dangerous and they shouldn't be around."
Charla says she can't remember anything from the day of the vicious attack, and she's glad for that. "I don't want to remember, because I couldn't imagine what it was like," she says. "I want to get healthy. I don't want to wake up with nightmares."
One thing Charla does remember, though, is that Travis the chimp had always been scary. "One time he was running around the yard and swinging off the trees of the house, and he jumped on my back and he pulled a big hunk of hair out of my head," she says. "I had tears in my eyes and [Sandra] was laughing and I told her, 'It hurts.'"