Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Tuesday 28 November 2023 Dublin: 1°C

PICTURES: Daughter meets the woman who received her mum's face

Months after the procedure, Carmen Tarleton revealed the results of her face transplant.

THIS IS CARMEN Blandin Tarleton. Six years ago her estranged husband doused her with industrial strength lye, burning more than 80 per cent of her body.

And this is Marinda Righter. She is holding a photograph of her mother Cheryl Denelli-Righter who died of a massive stroke on 13 February this year. The Massachusetts woman was an organ donor. Her face was the one used in a successful transplant at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Carmen Tarleton was the recipient. The two women met for the first time this week.

At a news conference today, Marinda told Tarleton she looked beautiful and that she believes her mother somehow picked where her face would go.

“They are both mothers, they are both survivors, they are both beacons of light,” she said.

“I get to feel my mother’s skin again, I get to see my mother’s freckles, and through you, I get to see my mother live on. This is truly a blessing.”

Tarleton said she is now in a better place mentally and emotionally than she could ever have imagined in 2007 when the horrific assault occurred.

She also thanked Righter’s family for the “tremendous gift” that has alleviated her great physical pain.

The 44-year-old mother-of-two was attacked by ex-husband Herbert Rodgers six years ago. Police believe he went to her house in search of a man he thought she was seeing. He struck Tarleton with a bat and poured lye from a squeezed bottle onto her face. When emergency services arrive she was trying to wash the chemical off her face.

In 2009, Rodgers pleaded guilty to maiming Tarleton in exchange for a prison sentence of at least 30 years.

Describing the complex procedure, the Boston hospital said more than 30 surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses worked for more than 15 hours to replace her skin, muscles, tendons and nerves.

The patient is still legally blind. Speaking at today’s news conference she said, “I want to share my experience with others, so they may find that strength inside themselves to escape their own pain.”

Referring to the victims of the city’s recent bombing victims, she said they face the challenges of pain and forgiveness.

“There is a lot to learn and take from horrific events that happen,” 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.”

-Additional reporting by Associated Press

-Images: Charles Krupa/AP/Press Association Images

Three more arrested in Boston Marathon investigation

Days after the Boston bombings, this man is competing in London Marathon

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.