A Vermont woman whose face was disfigured in a lye attack has received a face transplant. Carmen Blandin Tarleton is a 44-year-old registered nurse and mother of two from Thetford, Vermont. On June 10, 2007, Carmen was brutally attacked by her estranged husband, beat and doused with industrial strength lye burning over 80 percent of her body.
Carmen was air lifted to Brigham and Women’s Hospital where she was put into a medically-induced coma. She underwent 38 surgeries over a three month period. Over the next five years, Carmen had 17 additional surgeries including some to restore her sight. Despite this, she was left severely disfigured and legally blind. On December 5, 2011, after a rigorous screening process she was approved for a face transplant and the New England Organ Bank began searching for a donor.
Earlier this month, a donor was identified and Carmen received a full face transplant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. A team worked 15 hours to transplant the facial skin, including the neck, nose, lips, facial muscles, arteries and nerves. It was the fifth face transplant at the Boston hospital. Physicians are planning to discuss the case today at the hospital.
Carmen recently published her first book titled, Overcome: Burned, Blinded and Blessed.