Victim, survivor, mom: Charla Nash and her daughter Briana

Nov. 21, 2011 at 8:08 AM ET

The story of Charla Nash, who survived a brutal 2009 chimp attack that literally ripped her face off, is one of individual resilience and strength. But it’s also the story of the Nash family, and particularly of the close relationship between Charla and her daughter Briana, who has stayed by her mom’s side through the whole ordeal. TODAY producer Stephanie Siegel, who has worked with the Nash family for years, reflects on witnessing the mother-daughter bond between Charla and Briana.

The mother-daughter relationship can be tenuous. When I was being difficult growing up, my mom would chant, “I can’t wait until you have your own daughter.” Now I do, but since my own daughter is just barely a year old and not speaking in full sentences, I haven’t experienced what my mom was forecasting… yet.

Witnessing the relationship that Charla Nash has with her daughter Briana is inspiring. They are each other’s best friend, each other’s rock and the person who keeps the other going when times are tough. Most of all, they have both come to realize how sacred life is and how precious these relationships are. It’s unfortunate that it usually takes going through a tough time to realize this. We should all take a cue from Charla and Briana.  Give your mom, or your daughter, a kiss and a hug and tell her you love her. Most importantly, be there for her every day.  

Producer's Notebook: Behind the scenes with Charla Nash

allDAY: Meredith Vieira on Charla's beautiful spirit

Take a look at Charla and Briana behind the scenes at their TODAY shoot, giving their advice to all mothers and daughters out there.

Charla Nash's family has established a fund for her care; for more information, go to