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Isabelle Dinoire speaks to reporters during her first press conference after her facial transplant. (CP photo)

A French woman who received the world's first partial face transplant appeared before the media for the first time on Monday, saying she expects to resume a normal life.

"I now have a face like everyone else," said Isabelle Dinoire, who had her history-making surgery in November.

Dinoire, who was slurring and appeared to have difficulty moving and closing her mouth, said she is still regaining sensation in her face.

Her skin after the surgery on her lips, nose and chin appeared to look even.

"I expect to resume a normal life ... I pay homage to the donor's family," she said. "My operation could help others to live again."

Dinoire, a divorced mother of two, talked about how she was mauled by her Labrador retriever last year.

She said she had passed out before the dog mauled her and she didn't know the extent of her injuries immediately.

"When I woke up, I tried to light a cigarette, and I didn't understand why I couldn't hold it between my lips."

Dinoire said she was horrified when she looked at herself in a mirror. She also spoke of her life before the surgery, saying her disfigurement attracted stares in public.