Monday, April 29, 2013

"Overcome: Burned, Blinded and Blessed"

Last week my mom and I finished reading a wonderful book called Overcome: Burned, Blinded and Blessed  by Carmen Blandin Tarleton. Here is the synopsis on the back cover of the book:

On June 10, 2007, Carmen Blandin Tarleton's estranged husband broke into her rural Vermont home, and beat her with a baseball bat and doused her with industrial-strength lye. Doctors called it "THE MOST HORRIFIC INJURY A HUMAN BEING COULD SUFFER."

Tarleton spent the next three and a half months in a medically induced coma, and when she awoke, it was to an unimaginable reality: she was blind and permanently disfigured, with burns covering more than 80% of her body. Her recovery would include months of painful rehab, dozens of surgeries and total dependence on family, friends and strangers for physical and financial care.

With so much taken away, no one could have anticipated what Tarleton would gain from her experience: an awakening. A purpose. Joy. By sharing her struggles and ultimate victory over catastrophic loss, Tarleton proves this life is a choice––and, in the process, offers a rare glimpse into the best and worst corners of the human heart.
I first heard about this book a few months ago while watching The Doctors one morning on TV. Dr. Travis was interviewing Carmen just weeks after her receiving a face transplant. The  interview was conducted over the phone, so you couldn't see Carmen's new face, but my interest was piqued, nonetheless. People often tell me how inspiring I am, which is very humbling since I don't feel worthy of such high praise. I don't feel like I'm doing anything that grand. Now someone like Carmen, on the other hand, she's the true inspiration! Carmen is going to be on The Doctors again this Wednesday, May 1. This is her third interview on The Doctors, but her first interview debuting her new face. I'm really looking forward to watching!

I love reading true stories and accounts of real people who have been through tremendous trials, but have still managed to face life with joy and a positive attitude. That's the example I'm trying to follow. This book is very uplifting and one that I would recommend to anyone who is struggling with their own challenges and needs a little inspiration.

Below is a picture of Carmen before her face transplant, and a picture of her being interviewed by Dr. Travis Stork on The Doctors.
Click here to read my follow-up on Carmen.


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