Connie Culp, the Ohio woman who made international headlines in 2008 when she received the first near-total face transplant in the U.S., has died. Culp was 57.

“Connie was an incredibly brave, vibrant woman, and an inspiration to many,” Dr. Frank Papay, chair of the clinic’s Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Institute, said in a statement. “Her strength was evident in the fact that she had been the longest-living face transplant patient to date. She was a great pioneer and her decision to undergo a sometimes-daunting procedure is an enduring gift for all of humanity.”

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