New Face New Life: Vermont Woman Reveals Post-Transplant Face

Category: Technology / May 02, 2013 8:47AM EDT
A Vermont woman endured an abusive relationship with her estranged husband who disfigured her after he burnt her with lye. But now the woman after six years can celebrate a new lease on life after a successful face transplant surgery. The extent of her injuries was severe as 80% of her entire body was burnt. A team of 30 surgeons performed a 17 hour full face transplant surgery. The journey, though long was well worth it according to the victim Carmen Blandin: "I have been on this incredible journey for the last six years, and receiving this wonderful gift ends this chapter in my life. What a great way to move forward with what life has for me now." The decision for a full face transplant was not an easy one, and after 55 other surgeries Blandin made the choice to get the full face and begin a new life. A procedure as explained by Dr. Bodhan Pomahac that was far from simple: "We knew that identifying a match for Carmen would be difficult and managing her rejection after the transplant could also prove challenging. But we developed a plan to address this. Together with our colleagues in transplant medicine we were able to work through our plan to get Carmen where she is today almost miraculously with no apparent sign of rejection. I believe I can safely say Carmen is the most immunologically complex patient that has ever received a composite issue transplant, meaning a face or a hand. This case is the first of its kind in that Carmen already had an active immune response against the donor tissue at the time of transplantation," Now Blandin, looks forward to a new life with her new face: "My hopes were to have the pain in my neck relieved and it was - instantly, when I woke up. That was my biggest desire - was to have all the pain in my neck relieved and I got that instantly. I know my face will improve over the next months and in the first year, so I am not anxious or anything of that not happening. I know that's going to happen. I want others to know that they need not give up on healing themselves when tragedy strikes, but instead they can make a choice to find the good and allow that to help them heal. Walking around with hate or misery in your heart is a choice, and we all can find our way to happiness," Video Courtesy Of Reuters