December 6, 2012

Victim's book calls brutal, disfiguring attack a 'blessing'

Carmen Tarleton, 44, says her five painful years of recovery taught her things she can use to help others.

The Associated Press

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In this Aug. 20, 2008, file photo, Carmen Tarleton is interviewed in her home in Thetford , Vt. The Vermont woman who was disfigured and blinded in a lye attack by her ex-husband has written a book recounting her experiences. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

Publishing the book was a no-brainer for Writers of the Round Table Press, which helped Tarleton write it, said vice president David Cohen.

"Taking that kind of experience and turning that energy into something positive and wanting to go out there and effect change with as much as she had to overcome, to me was just striking," Cohen said.

As she awaits approval for a procedure that could help her get a face transplant, she looks forward to feeling well enough to speak publicly again about her ordeal to help others. She has had several recent surgeries to install a catheter in her chest and was sick last winter with hyperthyroidism.

She has plans to write other books. She has also started a blog on the book's website. She says she's trying to develop ways to verbalize her positive attitude.

If she had a choice to go back to a year before the attack and to take her life in a different direction, she would not.

"When life gives you a big negative situation like I'd been through, if you can get through that, you can really find all of the blessings and all of the positive things that can come out of that," she said. "And I found so much that I would not go back."


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