Despite 30 operations to rebuild her shattered face, she hid away, terrified of what others might think.
Now, however, Mrs Culp has stepped forward to reveal the results of the world's most extensive face transplant - and to declare she is no longer afraid.
At a news conference in Cleveland in the U.S. on Tuesday, she also praised the family of the unnamed donor for their generosity.
'I guess I'm the one you came to see today,' she said.
'While I know you all want to focus on me, I think it's more important you focus on the donor family that made it so I could have this Christmas present.'
The shotgun blast shattered her nose, cheeks, the roof of her mouth and an eye, leaving a gaping hole.
Hundreds of fragments of shotgun pellets and bone splinters were embedded in her face and after emergency surgery she could only breathe by having a tube inserted in her windpipe.
Her appearance was so shocking that she left home as rarely as possible to avoid being taunted.
Once while shopping she heard a little kid say, "You said there were no real monsters, Mommy, and there's one right there".
Culp stopped and said, "I'm not a monster. I'm a person who was shot," and pulled out her driver's licence to show the child what she used to look like.'
Here are the X-Rays of her after she was shot
I don't know about you, but I think this is one of the bravest women I have ever seen. People will be people and can be cruel at times. But there are far more people who will respect her and appreciate fully what she has been through.
Us human beings place far too much emphasis on how people look. Beauty is only temporary and fades with time. Being a good person and being a nice person lasts a lifetime and is much more valuable !!!