Domestic assault survivor who underwent face transplant loses sight 11 years after lye attack

A New Hampshire woman who survived a horrifying domestic assault 11 years ago and underwent a face transplant in 2013 says she has lost her sight after contracting an infection. Carmen Tarleton, whose ex-husband attacked her with lye in her Vermont home, suffered chemical burns in over 90 percent of her body and has been through … Continue reading “Domestic assault survivor who underwent face transplant loses sight 11 years after lye attack”

A New Hampshire woman who survived a horrifying domestic assault 11 years ago and underwent a face transplant in 2013 says she has lost her sight after contracting an infection.

Carmen Tarleton, whose ex-husband attacked her with lye in her Vermont home, suffered chemical burns in over 90 percent of her body and has been through over 60 surgeries since.

The attack initially robbed the then-39-year-old her of her sight, but in 2009 she received a synthetic cornea transplant that partially restored it, WCAX reported. Last month, however, she contracted an infection made her blind again.

BABY BORN USING UTERUS TRANSPLANTED FROM DECEASED DONOR IN MEDICAL FIRST

According to WCAX, it will be up to six months before doctors can determine whether the infection will heal on its own, or if another implant is possible due to the immunosuppressant drugs she is on for her face transplant.

“Being completely blind, I need new software, I need new things, I need job training,” she told WCAX.

A GoFundMe page has been started to help her cover additional expenses due to her vision loss. The post said the funds will be used to help transport her from Manchester to Boston once a week, cover caregiver costs, and purchase medical supplies.

“I have always just been so blessed and so grateful for all the help I have received and I have received a lot over the years,” she told the news outlet. “It really does fuel me and fund me to keep moving forward.”

MAN'S EYES, NECK SWELL IN BIZARRE REACTION TO HAIR DYE

Tarleton’s assailant, Herbert Rodgers, is serving a 30- to-70-year sentence for the 2007 attack and died in a Pennsylvania state prison in December 2017.

In the years prior to his death, Tarleton said that she forgave him for the attack.

“I have moved on so well and in so many ways,” she previously told news outlets. “I feel like, for me, it ends a big chapter in my life.”

Florida firefighter donates kidney to help save stranger

A Florida firefighter has donated a kidney to help a stranger.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports doctors at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina, removed a kidney from 41-year-old Edgewater firefighter David Blair on Nov. 15 and prepped 33-year-old Heidi Hughes to receive it. The surgery went well. Blair is home and recovering.

MAN'S EYES, NECK SWELL IN BIZARRE REACTION TO HAIR DYE

Blair says faith led him to donate a kidney after he saw a social media post by Garry Hughes, seeking help for his daughter. Blair took a survey through the hospital's organ transplant website and then a series of follow-up tests.

Heidi Hughes, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, is thankful and says she intends to take good care of Blair's gift.

It's not her first kidney transplant. Her father donated a kidney to her 16 years ago.

Baby born using uterus transplanted from deceased donor in medical first

LONDON – Brazilian doctors are reporting the world's first baby born to a woman with a uterus transplanted from a deceased donor.

Eleven previous births have used a transplanted womb but from a living donor, usually a relative or friend.

Experts said using uteruses from women who have died could make more transplants possible. Ten previous attempts using deceased donors in the Czech Republic, Turkey and the U.S. have failed.

The baby girl was delivered last December by a woman born without a uterus because of a rare syndrome. The woman — a 32-year-old psychologist — was initially apprehensive about the transplant, said Dr. Dani Ejzenberg, the transplant team's lead doctor at the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine.

TODDLER WITH RARE BLOOD TYPE SPARKS WORLDWIDE SEARCH FOR DONOR

"This was the most important thing in her life," he said. "Now she comes in to show us the baby and she is so happy,"

The woman became pregnant through in vitro fertilization seven months after the transplant. The donor was a 45-year-old woman who had three children and died of a stroke.

The recipient, who was not identified, gave birth by cesarean section. Doctors also removed the womb, partly so the woman would no longer have to take anti-rejection medicines. Nearly a year later, mother and baby are both healthy.

Two more transplants are planned as part of the Brazilian study. Details of the first case were published Tuesday in the medical journal Lancet.

Uterus transplantation was pioneered by Swedish doctor Mats Brannstrom, who has delivered eight children from women who got wombs from family members or friends. Two babies have been born at Baylor University Medical Center in Texas and one in Serbia, also from transplants from living donors.

In 2016, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic transplanted a uterus from a deceased donor, but it failed after an infection developed.

"The Brazilian group has proven that using deceased donors is a viable option," said the clinic's Dr. Tommaso Falcone, who was involved in the Ohio case. "It may give us a bigger supply of organs than we thought were possible."

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The Cleveland program is continuing to use deceased donors. Falcone said the fact that the transplant was successful after the uterus was preserved in ice for nearly eight hours demonstrated how resilient the uterus is. Doctors try to keep the time an organ is without blood flow to a minimum.

Other experts said the knowledge gained from such procedures might also solve some lingering mysteries about pregnancies.

"There are still lots of things we don't understand about pregnancies, like how embryos implant," said Dr. Cesar Diaz, who co-authored an accompanying commentary in the journal. "These transplants will help us understand implantation and every stage of pregnancy."

California man’s face transplant cost $1.5 million, medical center says

A face transplant that gave Cameron Underwood — a 26-year-old California native who attempted to kill himself two years ago – a new lease on life cost more than a million dollars.

To date, the procedure — it was performed by the face transplant team at  New York University Langone Medical Center —  has cost $1.5 million, the medical center told the New York Post.

FACE TRANSPLANT RECIPIENT SHOWS REMARKABLE PROGRESS 11 MONTHS AFTER SURGERY

Nearly one-third was covered by insurance, according to the publication. A grant from the U.S. Department of Defense and “support from NYU Langone” provided additional funding, which the Post reported went primarily toward “clinical care and research associated with the transplant.”

In 2016, Underwood attempted to kill himself with a gunshot under his chin. But the 26-year-old survived, spending the next five weeks heavily sedated. In total, he spent five months in the hospital as he recovered from the bullet wound, which cost him his nose, jaw, and teeth, and badly damaged his eye sockets.

Following several reconstructive operations, Underwood underwent the face transplant procedure earlier this year. The man’s donor was New York-based Will Fisher, a 23-year-old writer and filmmaker.

MOM BATTLING CANCER WHILE PREGNANT WITH TWINS FINDS BONE MARROW DONOR MATCH

Underwood made headlines earlier this week when he showed his face 11 months after the procedure.

“We hope my experience inspires others who have severe facial injuries to have hope, as I was inspired by others who came before me,” Underwood said. “The journey hasn’t been easy, but it’s been well worth it.”

Fox News’ Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

Girl writes letter to Santa, asks for kidney on behalf of sick brother

Most kids write letters to Santa asking for toys for Christmas, but one little girl has something bigger in mind.

The letter was dropped in a mailbox for letters to Santa at a Lowe’s in Franklin, N.C. by a child known only as Kaitlyn.

On a piece of plain white paper written in green and blue crayon, the girl wrote: "Some may not believe in you. But I do. One thing I really want for Christmas is my big brother to get a kidney transplant. PLEASE."

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Shelly Thomas, the store’s associate manager, shared a photo of the letter on Facebook in the hopes of locating the girl, whom she thinks might have been visiting from Florida.

“Hopefully, [the letter going viral will] get a little bit of interest in some folks getting tested and show how important it really is,” Thomas told WLOS.

Thomas’ post has received hundreds of shares on Facebook along with dozens of comments, sending well wishes to the girl and her family.

POLICE OFFICER DELIVERED BABY ON SIDE OF BUSY HIGHWAY: ‘SHE SHOWED UP LIKE AN ANGEL’

Customers at Lowe’s were also touched by Kaitlyn’s wish.

“Knowing that your letter is going to Santa Claus and that he's going to bring you anything you want and to ask for something that important for someone else just means so much,” one person told WLOS.

“It just makes me want to cry that kids ask for so much these days and you have a kid that all they want is a kidney for their brother," another said.

Michelle Gant is a writer and editor for Fox News Lifestyle.

Girl writes letter to Santa, asks for kidney on behalf of sick brother

Most kids write letters to Santa asking for toys for Christmas, but one little girl has something bigger in mind.

The letter was dropped in a mailbox for letters to Santa at a Lowe’s in Franklin, N.C. by a child known only as Kaitlyn.

On a piece of plain white paper written in green and blue crayon, the girl wrote: "Some may not believe in you. But I do. One thing I really want for Christmas is my big brother to get a kidney transplant. PLEASE."

EMT SAVES PARTNER’S LIFE AFTER HE SUFFERS A STROKE AT THE WHEEL: 'IT'S A TRUE MIRACLE'

Shelly Thomas, the store’s associate manager, shared a photo of the letter on Facebook in the hopes of locating the girl, whom she thinks might have been visiting from Florida.

“Hopefully, [the letter going viral will] get a little bit of interest in some folks getting tested and show how important it really is,” Thomas told WLOS.

Thomas’ post has received hundreds of shares on Facebook along with dozens of comments, sending well wishes to the girl and her family.

POLICE OFFICER DELIVERED BABY ON SIDE OF BUSY HIGHWAY: ‘SHE SHOWED UP LIKE AN ANGEL’

Customers at Lowe’s were also touched by Kaitlyn’s wish.

“Knowing that your letter is going to Santa Claus and that he's going to bring you anything you want and to ask for something that important for someone else just means so much,” one person told WLOS.

“It just makes me want to cry that kids ask for so much these days and you have a kid that all they want is a kidney for their brother," another said.

Michelle Gant is a writer and editor for Fox News Lifestyle.

Face transplant recipient shows remarkable progress 11 months after surgery

More than two years after Cameron Underwood attempted to end his life, the 26-year-old has gotten a second chance, which was partly made possible by his face transplant team at New York University Langone Medical Center.

Underwood, who grew up in Yuba City, Calif., struggled with depression and attempted to cope with alcohol, according to People magazine. In June 2016, he attempted to kill himself with a gunshot under his chin, but he survived and spent the next five weeks heavily sedated. In total, he spent five months in the hospital as he recovered from the bullet wound, which cost him his nose, jaw and teeth, and badly damaged his eye sockets.

Underwood underwent several reconstructive surgeries, but he struggled to communicate and eat, and would wear a bandanna or mask to cover his injuries while in public. His mom, Bev Bailey-Potter, saw an article in People about NYU’s face transplant program, and decided to take action. In March 2017, Underwood and Bailey-Potter traveled to New York to meet with Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, who took him on as a patient.

MOM BATTLING CANCER WHILE PREGNANT WITH TWINS FINDS BONE MARROW DONOR MATCH

“When we first met Cameron, we were confident we could improve his appearance and, more importantly, his function and quality of life,” Rodriguez said, in a news release provided by NYU. “Advances in medical technology allow us to more rapidly evaluate donors and recipients for face transplant, and to perform surgery more safely and efficiently.”

In January, Underwood received the call that a donor match had become available. His donor, Will Fisher, was a 23-year-old writer and filmmaker in New York City who had also battled mental illness for several years.

Underwood, pictured before the transplant, had been wearing a mask or bandanna in public to cover his injuries. (Courtesy Mary Spano and Eduardo D. Rodriguez, MD, DDS/Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery at NYU Langone Health)

“Will and his family made an incredible sacrifice to give back to me what had been lost,” Underwood said. “I will never forget that. I’m also eternally thankful to Dr. Rodriguez and his face transplant team. My family and I could not have made this journey without them.”

OVERDOSES, SUICIDES PUSH DOWN US LIFE EXPECTANCY

Nearly 11 months after the 25-hour operation, Underwood, who is Rodriguez’s third face transplant patient, has shown no signs of rejection. He has monthly follow-up appoints at NYU, and has continued with physical, occupational and speech therapy. He went sky diving, and has purchased a truck that he is working to restore.

Will Fisher, Underwood’s donor, was a 23-year-old aspiring writer and filmmaker. (Courtesy Fisher Family)

“We hope my experience inspires others who have severe facial injuries to have hope, as I was inspired by others who came before me,” Underwood said. “The journey hasn’t been easy, but it’s been well worth it.”

More than 40 face transplants have been conducted worldwide since 2005, with Underwood’s marking the first to occur in such a short period of time post-injury. Underwood’s surgery, which was made possible by a team of over 100 medical professionals, also marks the most technologically advanced transplant as it included the addition of 3D-printed surgical planning.

Mom battling cancer while pregnant with twins finds bone marrow donor match

A pregnant mother whose search for a bone marrow donor went viral last week has found her match, after her story reportedly inspired 40,000 people to register with BeTheMatch.org.

Susie Rabaca, who is due to give birth to twins next week and has three other children at home, was diagnosed with leukemia a few months ago.

Acute myeloid leukemia starts in the bone marrow and moves into the blood, and can spread to other parts of the body including the lymph nodes and other organs. According to the American Cancer Society, about 60,300 new cases of leukemia will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2018. Of those, about 19,520 cases will be AML.

The 36-year-old mother from Carson, Calif., was devastated to learn that her sister was only a partial donor match, and took her search public.

MAN'S SPLIT-SECOND DECISION LEADS TO LIFE-SAVING KIDNEY TRANSPLANT

“Finding my match is everything to me, so I can be here for the three children I have, and the two that I have on the way, it’s everything,” Rabaca had told Fox 11. “It’s so easy, there’s no painful procedure, there’s no surgery, it’s just swab your mouth and it’s as simple as a blood draw, and you can save somebody’s life, if not mine, somebody else’s.”

On Wednesday, Rabaca got the news that she desperately needed to hear.

“For me to find one and for it to be 10 out of 10 at that is amazing,” she told ABC 7. “Nothing better in the world right now.”

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Rabaca does not know the identity of her donor, but her mixed heritage had added difficulty to the search.

“Only 3 percent of our registry is mixed ethnicity and so it can be really difficult to find a matching donor,” Julie Kornike, of BeTheMatch.org, told ABC 7. “The fact that we have identified a potential match for her is really exciting.”

Rabaca’s doctors had planned for the transplant to occur shortly after the twins’ Dec. 6 arrival.

Mom donates lifesaving kidney to son after snowboarding fall leads to shock diagnosis

After 10 months of medical ups and downs, a 21-year-old man is on his way to recovery thanks to a life-saving organ donation from his mom. Harley Brackney was snowboarding on Jan. 2 when an EMT noticed him sliding down the mountain on his back.

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According to a GoFundMe page set up on his behalf, a CT scan revealed that Brackney had suffered a seizure, and the fall caused a brain bleed. Doctors then unexpectedly discovered that he was in stage 5 renal failure. The following months saw him go through dialysis and begin the search for a kidney.

About three months ago, the family was informed by Brackney’s team at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center that his mom, Joy, was a donor match. On Oct. 30, the pair underwent a successful transplant surgery just ahead of his 21st birthday.

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“I feel really good about it,” Joy told Fox 11. “Kind of feel blessed that I was able to a part of him again. Now he’ll always have me with him.”

Brackney, who has been recovering at home, said his new kidney was “one of the best gifts” he’s ever gotten.

Mom donates life-saving kidney to toddler son

A kindhearted mother has given her toddler the gift of life this Thanksgiving after donating one of her kidneys.

Jace Josephson, 2, was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a condition in which means that side of the heart does not develop correctly.

The brave toddler underwent two major heart operations before he was 7 months old to insert shunts to help balance the blood flow.

But Jace went into cardiac arrest ahead of his third surgery in August 2017, and doctors determined he would need a heart transplant to survive.

After 146 days on life support, Jace was the recipient of a donor heart on January 27, but the surgery placed extreme pressure on his kidneys, causing them to fail.

FAMILY FEELS 'CHEATED' AFTER 20-YEAR-OLD'S SEPSIS DEATH

Jace’s mother, Akasha Josephson, 23, was overjoyed when she discovered she was a suitable match to donate a kidney after almost 10 months of dialysis.

Josephson, a criminal justice student, and Jace underwent the surgery to transplant her left kidney on Nov. 19, just in time for Thanksgiving.

Jace pictured with his sister Lilliona, was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a condition in which the left side of the heart does not develop correctly.  (SWNS)

Josephson, who is also mom to Lilliona, 4, said: “I feel so relieved that I was able to do this for him."

“He is an amazing, positive little boy and he never stops smiling. I’m a little sore but it was only keyhole surgery," she said. “They put it into Jace and the kidney made urine straight away which is amazing. He’s been through so much, it’s so hard for any toddler to be in hospital but he has an incredible spirit.”

Jace’s surgeries have weakened his lungs and the 2-year-old lives with a tracheostomy tube to help him breathe.

His doctors at the Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Mary's Campus in Minn., believe it won’t be a permanent fixture in his life.

Although he will remain on immunosuppressants for the remainder of his life to prevent his organs rejecting, doctors believe he will lead a full and happy life.

Jace’s mother was overjoyed when she discovered she was a suitable match to donate a kidney after almost ten months of dialysis. (SWNS)

The family is currently fundraising to gather $27,000, which will cover the cost of an emergency helicopter used to transport Jace between hospitals in Aug. 2017.

Akasha, of Rochester, Minnesota, will be discharged on Wednesday ahead of Thanksgiving but it is likely her son will remain in hospital over the holidays.

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However, Akasha is looking forward to a family Christmas at home with her laborer husband Timothy Josephson, 23, and their two kids.

She said: “I’m not sure what Jace wants from Santa but I’m sure he’ll figure it out.

“I’m just looking forward to a Christmas at home with my family. Jace was in hospital last year awaiting his transplant.

“It will be nice to have my kids together and my husband."