Survivor of Brutal Attack Comes Home - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Survivor of Brutal Attack Comes Home

Fairlee, Vermont - November 20, 2007

"It's great, so we are all excited about that and optimistic," says Joe Blandin.

Five months ago, Blandin was not so positive. His daughter, Carmen Tarleton, had suffered severe chemical burns during a domestic assault in her Thetford home. Doctors said it was unlikely she would survive. But, Tarleton has proven herself to be a fighter, and Monday, she was discharged from the burn hospital in Boston.

"She was glad to get home, relaxed in her favorite chair. We all grouped around and chatted with her. It was an exciting day for us all," says Blandin.

Police say Tarleton's estranged husband, Herbert Rodger, of White River Junction, broke into Tarleton's home, beat her with a baseball bat, sexually assaulted her, then poured industrial strength lye all over her body. Tarleton received severe chemical burns over 80-percent of her body and lost several of her facial features and her eyesight.

But Blandin says her vision could be coming back. "There is more optimism at least from the professionals who examined her to at least have eye sight on one side and we are going to hold on to that optimism."

Blandin credits his daughter's fast recovery to her tenacious will to live, her love for her two teenage daughters, and the strong community support seen throughout the region.

"Carmen wanted, just talking with her today, wanted to express to the Upper Valley and beyond, her appreciation for all her love, and by golly, we all do, and we will never forget the people who have supported her."

For Blandin, it is a reason to give thanks around the holidays, as his daughter gives all of us a new perspective on what to be thankful for.

Adam Sullivan - WCAX News

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