New Outlook for Lye Attack Victim - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

New Outlook for Lye Attack Victim

Carmen Tarleton Carmen Tarleton

Thetford, Vermont - May 15, 2009

A Thetford woman suffered burns over much of her body during a violent attack two years ago. But despite her disfigurement, Carmen Tarleton has a new outlook on life.

"I'm going to plant potatoes here," Tarleton said.

Gardening may have been out of the question for Tarleton a year ago, but not today. And the spirits are high for this die-hard Sox fan.

"My life has changed 100 percent all over again," she said.

After the attack, Tarleton was completely blind. A cornea transplant on her left eye allowed her to distinguish light, but no details. She recently received a cornea transplant in her right eye. The surgery restored partial vision.

"I had a piece of hope in the back of my mind that I would at least see better than my left eye, but I never thought I would see this good," she said.

The former nurse needed 24-hour care after she was attacked with the chemical lye in the summer of 2007. It changed her appearance forever and left her in a world of darkness. However she has a new independence.

"I just feel so grateful and so fortunate because I was working on living my life pretty much very blind," she explained.

We spoke briefly about her seeing her scars for the first time; however Tarleton wanted to focus our conversation on the positive.

"I was very happy and joyous," she said. "I was able to see my girls' faces of course for the first time in almost two years and I was overwhelmed with joy more than anything else."

That's because she can watch her two girls grow.

"I had a few days, well not a few days, but a few times of real sadness that I wouldn't be able to see my kids again and that was hard," Tarleton said. "I was working on that, because that was really hard to think that."

But now Tarleton says she feel like a million bucks as her story continues to unfold.

"It's a whole 'nother chapter and I just feel so grateful and fortunate. Like I said, I just can't believe it."

A perspective we can all appreciate.

Adam Sullivan - WCAX News

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