Pomahac’s team has performed five facial transplants at the hospital. He said his team’s latest patient is recovering well and is in great spirits as she works to get stronger.
Before the transplant, Tarleton drooled constantly because of scar tissue in her mouth. She also couldn’t turn her head from side to side or lift her chin.
Pomahac said Tarleton was pleased when she saw her new face for the first time. Her appearance will not match that of the late donor’s face, he said.
“I think she looks amazing, but I’m biased,” the surgeon said with a smile.
The donor’s family wants to remain anonymous now, but released a statement through a regional donor bank saying that her spirit would live on through Tarleton and three other organ recipients.
In 2009, Tarleton’s now ex-husband Herbert Rodgers pleaded guilty to maiming her in exchange for a prison sentence of at least 30 years.
Police previously said Rodgers believed his wife was seeing another man and went to her house to attack him. Tarleton mistook the intruder for a burglar at first and told him he could have whatever he wanted. Then Rodgers launched into a fury, fracturing one of Tarleton’s eye sockets and breaking her arm with the bat.
He had brought lye with him in a squeeze bottle and he poured it on Tarleton.
When police arrived, the brunette’s heart-shaped face already was distorted, her skin turning brown. She was trying to crawl into a shower to wash away the chemical.
But now, the mother of two daughters talks about forgiveness and has a newly-published book called “Overcome: Burned, Blinded and Blessed.”
“Forgiveness is about helping ourselves, not the people who hurt us,” read an image on a website Wednesday that promotes her book.