BOSTON — A Vermont nurse disfigured in a 2007 lye attack has received a new face at a Boston hospital.
Carmen Blandin Tarleton’s full facial transplant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital included transplanting a female donor’s facial skin to Tarleton’s neck, nose and lips, along with facial muscles, arteries and nerves.
Hospital officials say the 44-year-old Thetford, Vt., woman suffered burns on more than 80 percent of her body after her estranged husband attacked her.
“Her injuries were among the worst I’ve seen in my career,” lead surgeon Dr. Bohdan Pomahac said during a Wednesday press conference at the hospital. “She was severely burned, over 80 percent of her body, unrecognizable to anyone who knew her.”
Tarleton’s sister said Wednesday she showed “great appreciation” for the gift she’s been given.
The donor’s family believes their loved one’s spirit lives on in Tarleton.
Tarleton has undergone more than 50 surgeries. The latest — the hospital’s fifth full face transplant — took 15 hours and included a team of more than 30 medical professionals.
Tarleton once worked as a transplant nurse.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom