A Vermont woman whose face was disfigured in a horrifying attack — her estranged husband doused her with lye in June 2007 — has received a face transplant.
Carmen Blandin Tarleton, 44, spoke at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston Wednesday. She is still legally blind and had to read her remarks from a tablet.
She said she's telling her story so others can find strength to escape their own pain.
The hospital says more than 30 surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses worked for more than 15 hours to replace Tarleton's skin, muscles, tendons and nerves.
Tarleton met the daughter of the face donor, Cheryl Denelli-Righter, at the news conference. Denelli-Righter died of a sudden stroke.
Said Miranda Righter of her mother and Tarleton: "They are both mothers, they are both survivors, they are both beacons of light."
Tarleton can now smile and will be able to make more facial expressions in the future. "I can't pucker and feel yet," she said. "But I am looking forward to that day. I know that day will come," according to CNN.
"There is a lot to learn and take from horrific events," Tarleton said. "I want others to know that they need not give up on feeling themselves when tragedy strikes, but instead they can make a choice to find the good and allow that to help them heal."