After being attacked with a chemical in 2007 suffering severe burns, Carmen Blandin Tarleton from New England, now 51, was one of the first five people in the country to ever get a full face transplant, in 2013.
She received the full transplant at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Only about 40 patients worldwide have ever had the procedure performed. She was even living pain-free. Now, however, Tarleton's body is beginning to reject the transplant. Some blood vessels to her face had narrowed and closed and some of the facial tissue is beginning to die. Skin grafting, reconstruction and maybe another face transplant will follow, at the same hospital.
The clinical team remains focused on maintaining Carmen’s quality of life, which has been much improved since her transplant six years ago. „The team is grateful for Carmen’s partnership and for her commitment to the face transplant program," the hospital told in a statement. “Everybody needs to understand that this is an area that we’re still learning. We’re going to all learn from these cases,” they added. In fact, don't expect any patient with a face transplant to have the face last their entire lifetime. Carmen was a former transplant nurse herself.