He chased after one of those vampires in the sewer, but he was bitten since the vampire was too thirsty to continue on and Carlisle turned three days later having stayed hidden in a sack of potatoes. Carlisle, disgusted by his own existence tried many ways to destroy himself, but to no avail. After trying to starve himself, he came across a wild animal and his thirst overpowered him. Carlisle discovered he could survive off animal blood rather than human, creating a new way for the vampires to exist unnoticed among humans.
Carlisle studied in many areas but chose to stick to medicine deciding that he rather help people with his new vampiric abilities. He works in Forks hospital and is almost completely unaware of the appeal human blood holds for him, but only after hundreds of years of practice.
When the Spanish Influenza broke out in the early 1900s, Carlisle came across a dying teenager, Edward Masen, who had been orphaned in the pandemic. Overcome with the need for companionship, and mindful of the promise made to the boy's dying mother (that he would do everything in his power to help), Carlisle stole him away and turned him, beginning his family.
Carlisle now has a wife, Esme, and five "adopted" children: Edward, Alice, Rosalie, Emmett and Jasper. Carlisle is described as being tall, blond, and the look-alike of a model. He stands "6'2" and is slender yet muscular. He is physically 23 years old.