Carmen Tarleton: Face Transplant Reveal
After surviving a brutal attack that left her disfigured and burned on over 80% of her body, Carmen Tarleton recently became the first ever full face transplant recipient. This courageous mom of two sat down with Dr. Travis Stork for an exclusive interview on The Doctors. Carmen doesn’t know much about the person responsible for her new face, but she’s extremely grateful to the donor’s family for their incredible gift.
Carmen said that her daughters and other family members stared at her for quite some time after witnessing her new face. She can’t see much of her own face herself, because her injuries left her partially blinded. She can, however, make out certain aspects of her new features.
Despite the long and difficult journey – which is far from over – that Carmen has traveled, she has no regrets. “I never thought, ‘hey, maybe I shouldn’t have done this,’” she said.
Carmen Tarleton: Regaining Face Function
Carmen took off her hat to show Dr. Travis the precise line that marks where her donor face begins and ends. It’s remarkable to witness how carefully an entire new face was laid over Carmen’s own. It’s a near perfect fit, and even the donor’s hair color matches Carmen’s own natural color.
Carmen is slowly but surely regaining function with her new face. She can’t move her eyelids on her own, but she speaks very clearly and can move her mouth. Eating is a difficult (and messy) process, but she knows that will improve over time.
Carmen Tarleton: Boyfriend Sheldon
The best news of all is that Carmen has found someone to share her life with. In December, she met her boyfriend, Sheldon, whom she refers to as the love of her life. Sheldon and Carmen met when Carmen began taking piano lessons, and he was her teacher.
Sheldon admitted that there wasn’t a romantic connection from the get-go, but it didn’t take long for feelings to develop. “It just felt so right,” he said.
“He has a great amount of integrity and he’s been right beside me the whole time,” Carmen said of Sheldon’s unwavering support through even the most difficult moments.
Carmen Tarleton: Overcome: Burned, Blinded and Blessed
Later, Dr. Travis shared his own personal feelings for Carmen, which you can see in the video below. You can learn more about Carmen’s story in her inspirational new book, Overcome: Burned, Blinded and Blessed. I’m sure The Doctors will continue to chart Carmen’s journey and offer her much love and support along the way.