A woman who was doused with industrial-strength lye by her husband during a 2007 attack has revealed her newly constructed face.
Carmen Blandin Tarleton was left with burns to 80 percent of her body after her then estranged husband threw a vat of lye on her in 2007. Tarleton suffered severe injury, which included facial scarring. It took six years for Tarleton to receive facial reconstruction surgery. The time for surgery came in February, and for the past two months Tarleton has been recovering for her special debut. It was not until Wednesday that she officially unveiled her new face, which has taken breakthrough medical techniques to repair. During the unveiling, Tarleton remarked how grateful she was to her donor.
"I have been on this incredible journey for the past six years and receiving this wonderful gift ends this chapter of my life," Tarleton said in a press conference according to the Daily Mail. "What a great way to move forward with what life has for me now. The donor and her family have given me a tremendous gift."
It took more than two dozen doctors and 15 hours of surgery at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital to complete the operation, but the time was worth it for both Tarleton and for a second family. Marinda Righter, the daughter of face donor Cheryl Denelli-Righter, met Tarleton for the first time last night. She said she felt an immediate connection to the woman who had her mother's face but, for all other intents and purposes, was a complete stranger.
"I was peeking through the window and said 'oh my God, I love this woman.' It was magical ... we hugged it out," Righter said. She told Tarleton: "I get to feel my mother's skin again and see her freckles and through you I get to see my mother live on. This is truly a blessing."
Righter said she immediately drawn to Tarleton's story and continues to have admiration for the woman. She feels her mother would have too.
"I am so honored my mother's journey has ended in a way that allows you, Carmen to continue your journey. Wherever she is, she is in as much awe of you as I am," she said.