STAMFORD - A man who has known Charla Nash for years says he was shocked to see how disfigured her face was during her 'Oprah' appearance, but not surprised at her resilient spirit.

Donald Parker is a mechanic who works across the street from Sandra Herold's towing company. Over the years he became close with Herold, Nash and Travis, the chimp who mutilated Nash's face and body.

Parker says he was reminded of the Elephant Man when he saw her face, but the woman inside is the same friend he's always known.

"That's her," he says. "That's the way she was before."