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Vt. face transplant recipient begins book tour - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. face transplant recipient begins book tour

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WATERBURY, Vt. -

It's only been five months since her face transplant and Carmen Tarleton is already on the go.

"It's getting easier. I'm feeling better and stronger," Tarleton said.

Reporter Melissa Sheketoff: Did you think you'd get to this point?

Carmen Tarleton: I was hoping. I was hoping for many years that I'd get to a point where I live like I'm living today. So, it is dreams coming true for me.

Tarleton has become an icon of strength and the hope for many to never give up. Tarleton was brutally attacked in her Thetford home in the summer of 2007. Her estranged husband nearly killed her, dousing her with industrial strength lye and leaving her permanently disfigured. Five years after the attack, in February, Tarleton got the surgery she'd been waiting for in Boston and a new face.

"I've overcome it so it doesn't bother me; it doesn't haunt me. It doesn't take any of my energy anymore to do that because I'm on the other side. I'm sharing it and helping people, so it doesn't make it negative anymore," Tarleton said.

She is sharing her story to help others through her book, "Overcome: Burned, Blinded, and Blessed." Tarleton signed books Friday at Kinney Drugs in Waterbury, where people came through the doors and were shocked to see her.

"When I walked in the door I was blown away like, I swear, like a big blast of wind like blew me back," fan Susie Poulin said.

Fans say they hope to live life being brave like Tarleton.

"Day to day people struggle with so many things, life in itself. And she has gone through the worst of the worst and has made it through and had the courage and the dignity to do so," Poulin said.

And Tarleton says if she's not doing book signings, she's answering her many followers all over the world through social media and email on a daily basis.

"It's fun to see people so excited to see me," she said. "It sometimes takes me by surprise."

A woman capturing the hearts of many through her story of survival and courage.

Tarleton has more book signings planned this summer across Vermont. She also tells us she's in the process of working on a second book focusing on her face transplant.

Click here for Carmen Tarleton's website and blog and more information on her book.

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