On Friday October 6, Hollywood will join Discovery Health Channel, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), 1-800 Charity Cars, Original Productions and MEGA Productions Entertainment at Raleigh Studios as they kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month with a special screening of the captivating and uplifting documentary Plastic Surgery: Before & After - “Reconstructing Carolyn Thomas”. This special event will be hosted by 100.3 The Beat’s Ananda Lewis.
The event will honor and highlight the courageous journey of facial reconstructive patient, Carolyn Thomas, from domestic violence victim to activist and survivor. There will be a special VIP and media screening of the one-hour program which documents Carolyn’s surgeries and the impact of the experience on her physical and spiritual healing. The evening will include a commemorative kite signing ceremony for a fundraiser to benefit NCADV. Noted Hollywood celebrities will be on hand to lend their signatures to 10 “Freedom Kites” representing the total number of operations Carolyn endured to reconstruct her face. Each of the “Freedom Kites” will be auctioned on E-Bay. A special “Freedom Kite”, signed by each of the celebrities in attendance, will be presented to Carolyn for her amazing transformation from a “Women without a Face” to a “Survivor With A Voice”
Dubbed “The Woman without a Face” by the national media, Carolyn survived a near fatal shooting at point blank range in December of 2003, when her estranged boyfriend shot and killed her mother then turned his .44 magnum revolver on her. Carolyn lost 80% of her face in the tragedy and was left blind in her right eye. Carolyn’s mouth, nose and upper jaw were so damaged, she was forced to breathe through a tracheotomy tube and consume liquids from an opening in her stomach for two years after the shooting. Carolyn fought back to reclaim her life and her facial features by undergoing ten operations over a year and a half period. Carolyn also managed to gather her courage to face her abuser in court for the first time since the brutal attack, all of which is documented in this riveting and candid show.
Though she barely survived the blast that ripped away her right eye, shattered her cheekbone and nose and destroyed her upper jaw, Carolyn believes she was spared to help educate others about the dangers of abusive relationships. “God allowed me to survive for some reason and I just had to learn how to be strong.” Carolyn used her severely mutilated image for a national public-awareness campaign targeted at potential victims and established a foundation to achieve her goals. “I may be a woman without a face, but I am not a woman without a voice.” In April 2006, Carolyn was an honored recipient of the Special Courage Award for her extraordinary bravery and perseverance in dealing with her victimization; the award was presented by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) in Washington DC.
Carolyn’s reconstruction was made possible by “Face To Face” a national program that sponsors surgeries for victims of violence. A “Dream Team” of specialists, led by facial-plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Eugene Alford at Houston’s Methodist Hospital, volunteered for the lengthy and complex case. Writer, director and producer of the special, Mary E. Glynn, secured the exclusive rights to document Carolyn’s journey for the Discovery Health Channel. The program will air on Discovery Health - Sunday, October 8, 2006 at 7:00 pm PST/9:00 pm Central.