Carmen Blandin Tarleton told a press conference at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, where she received the face transplant two months earlier, that she feels great appreciation and gratitude for the tremendous gift that she has been given.
The 44-year-old said that her spirits are high, and she feels really good and happy, CBS News reported.
Tarleton, who underwent 38 surgeries within three months of the incident, and then an additional 17 surgeries over five years, some of which to restore her sight, still remains legally blind, and the scars cover her body.
Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, director of the burn center and plastic surgery transplantation at Brigham and Women's Hospital, said: "I believe I can safely say that Carmen is the most immunologically complex patient that has ever received a composite tissue transfer -- meaning a face or hand transplant."
The entire procedure required more than 30 surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses and took more than 15 hours.
Tarleton can now turn her head to the side and has considerably less pain in her neck and has also more control over her lips, meaning she's drooling less.
According to the hospital, the donor, Cheryl Denelli-Righter, passed away from a stroke in February 2013.
The donor's daughter Marinda Righter, said at the press conference that she was glad that Tarleton could receive her mother's face.
Tarleton, who is a registered nurse and mother of two, said that she realizes that there's still a long way to go until she's fully recovered, but she's sure she can do it.
She has since written a book called, "Overcome: Burned, Blinded and Blessed" to share her experiences.
--ANI (Posted on 02-05-2013)