The Latest Brigham Face Transplant: Vermont Woman Burnt By Lye

Photos from Brigham & Women's Hospital of its latest face transplant recipient, Carmen Blandin Tarleton. (Courtesy BWH)

Photos from Brigham and Women’s Hospital of its latest face transplant recipient, Carmen Blandin Tarleton. (Courtesy BWH)

Brigham and Women’s Hospital has just publicly presented the latest recipient of one of its world-leading face transplants: a Vermont woman whose estranged husband burned her horribly with lye. And the Boston Globe offers a harrowing medical backstory to today’s presentation here: the patient’s desperate decision to proceed with a dangerous drug even though it could have killed her. From the Brigham:

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, beaten 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.

In February 2013, a donor was identified and Carmen received a full face transplant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Carmen recently published her first book titled, ‘Overcome: Burned, Blinded and Blessed’ To learn more about Carmen and her book, visit:

The Brigham also offers an animated video of the procedure here.

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