A woman from New Hampshire has received a face transplant for the second time in the last ten years. This patient, Carmen Blandin Tarleton was attacked by her ex-husband leaving her face to be permanently disfigured.
Carmen has become the first American to receive this facial transplant. She is the second person in the world who has been under this procedure to get a new face. Her first transplant almost failed nearly six years ago. This new facial transplant is completed with the help of an anonymous donor and performed at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital this July.
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Carmen is a 52 years old, former nurse who will now resume her routine life again. About one year ago, her first facial transplant got bad and her life was shaken.
While talking to the press she expressed her joy and excitement to see her new face. There are no pictures of her new face as she is still in the recovery process. The photos will be available once her doctors allow her to do it.
She also said that her pain is now gone and with this new face, she will be starting a new chapter in her life. After waiting for one year, it is finally happening and she is too excited to see her face.
There are more than 40 people form all parts of the world who had face transplants. 16 of them were from the US but none of them experienced what Tarleton has gone through.
In 2018, a man reported that his body is ‘rejecting’ his new transplanted face and needed another one. Dr. Laurent Lantieri from the Georges Pompidou European Hospital, Paris was the doctor who did this second transplant. The patient is now living a healthy, peaceful life.
Dr. Bohdan Pomahac gave Tarleton her first transplant, and for the second time, he was a little hesitant and was in favor of doing facial reconstructive surgery. But other team members convinced him that a second transplant will be better for Tarleton.
Pomahac completed this 20 hours long facial transplant with 45 clinicians who helped in removing the failed first transplant. They worked on the nerves and blood vessels located at the back of the neck to the new connections. The new face was then added to Tarleton and she will be experiencing a normal sensory and motor function like other people within a few months.
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For the second face transplant, doctors were more concerned over ‘perfect match’. Her facial injuries from the brutal attack by her ex-husband made any new face an incompatible match. Yet doctors were able to transplant one compatible face but for the second time, doctors were more cautious for the compatibility issues.
Tarleton says that she is very hopeful that her second transplant will last longer than her first one and won’t cause post-surgical complications. Tarleton survived a brutal attack by her ex-husband Herbert Rodgers, who burnt nearly 80% of her body and left her wounded and blind back in 2007. She was beaten by a baseball as he accused her of cheating on him. Rodgers was arrested by the police and pleaded guilty to the offense. In the year 2017, Rodgers died in prison.