Isabelle Dinoire's speech was heavily slurred and difficult to understand but she explained how she was disfigured by a dog bite last year and she thanked the family of the donor who gave her new lips, a chin and nose.

 

Isabelle Dinoire, 38, had fine scar lines running from her nose over her cheekbones down to her jaw and seemed to have difficulty closing her mouth.

   

"I want to resume a normal life," Dinoire told reporters on Monday at Amiens hospital in northeastern France, where she received a new nose, lips and chin in November.

 

15-hour operation

   

In a 15-hour operation surgeons used tissues, muscles, arteries and veins from a brain-dead woman to rebuild Dinoire's face.

   

Dinoire, who was mauled by a dog last May, is from the Lille area in northeastern France.

    

Doctors said she had initially been having trouble eating and speaking because of her injuries.

   

Unlike heart, liver and kidney transplants, it was not life-saving surgery, but the operation posed considerable risk for Dinoire.