Six years ago, Connie Culp's husband took his gun and fired a single shot that shattered her jaw and left her missing her nose, jaw and all of the nerve endings in her face. He left her essentially faceless. Now, after a groundbreaking transplant surgery, she has a face again.
Culp sat down to an interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC News tonight to talk about her life a year after the surgery that changed her life. The surgery is only one of a dozen or so performed worldwide and only one of two ever performed in the United States and her story of courage and perseverance is impressive, indeed.
But what struck me the most about her interview was the gratitude she feels. She said she thanks the lord everyday for her face, which struck me as pretty amazing given she could have just dissolved into anger about the whole thing.
Most amazing? She forgives the man who did it to her during a botched murder-suicide attempt.
Yes, you read that right. She forgives her husband.
He is due to be released from prison next year (seven years for stealing someone's face seems a bit low) and from what I have read, she is considering taking him back.
She said last night that she will always love him and that he has served his time and paid his debt to society. Really? In seven years?
I cannot decide if I find that shockingly magnanimous or insane. Actually, here is what it is: tragic.
It is tragic that someone would go back to someone who could do something like that to them. From what I understand, it takes seven attempts for an abused woman to be successful in leaving the abuser.
I would love to think that in that situation, I would not stand for it. In fact, I know that if my husband ever hit me, I would leave him in a New York minute. But these women are likely suffering from years of abuse. I cannot imagine the mentality and I don't pretend to, but what I do know is that watching her I was full of tears at how inspiring she was and also full of rage at the man who left her without the face in the first place.I felt rage on her behalf.
And for some reason, she does not feel that rage for herself.
Do you think you could forgive in that situation?
Image via YouTube.com