After attack woman gets face transplant

Feb. 28, 2013 at 1:29 AM
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BOSTON, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- A Vermont woman disfigured in an attack by her estranged husband received a full face transplant at a Boston hospital, officials say.

A team led by Dr. Bohdan Pomahac at the Brigham and Women's Hospital transplanted the facial skin, including the neck, nose, lips, facial muscles, arteries and nerves -- the hospital's fifth face transplant, the Boston Globe reported.

Carmen Blandin Tarleton, a 44-year-old registered nurse and mother of two from Thetford, Vt., was brutally attacked in 2007 by her estranged husband, who beat her and doused her with industrial strength lye burning more than 80 percent of her body. She was nearly blinded.

She 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, Tarleton had 17 additional surgeries including some to restore her sight, but she was left severely disfigured and legally blind.

On Dec. 5, 2011, after a rigorous screening, she was approved for a face transplant and the New England Organ Bank began searching for a donor.

This month, a donor was identified and Tarleton received the full face transplant, which involved more than 30 physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists and technicians, who worked for 15 hours to complete the transplant, the Globe said.

Tarleton published a book, "Overcome: Burned, Blinded and Blessed." More information is at:

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