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Girl Mauled By Raccoon Undergoes Series Of Surgeries

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Charlotte Ponce (Credit: charlotteponce.com)

Charlotte Ponce (Credit: charlotteponce.com)

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ROYAL OAK (WWJ/AP) - A West Michigan girl whose face was mauled by a pet raccoon a decade ago is at a Royal Oak hospital readying for a series of reconstructive surgeries.

The first procedure for 10-year-old Charlotte Ponce is set for Wednesday at Beaumont Children’s Hospital. During the procedure, which is expected to last six to 10 hours, doctors will take skin from the girl’s wrist to help reconstruct her nose. Future procedures will focus on the Spring Lake girl’s lips and ear.

On Wednesday morning, Ponce sat in her hospital bed surrounded by stuffed bears and stickers.

She said she’s “excited” for the surgery and looks forward to “walking around eating Popsicles.”

Ponce was 3-months-old when she was attacked by a raccoon while left unattended at the family’s home in Ravenna, near Muskegon. She barely survived the attack, and spent months in the hospital before being released.  The animal had eaten away her nose, right ear, part of her lips and cheekbones.

She and her brother were adopted by their great-aunt and great-uncle in 2005 after Michigan terminated the biological parents’ rights.

Ponce has already gone through half a dozen reconstructive surgeries, including skin grafts from her forehead to replace some of the scar tissue between her eye and nose.

A website has been created so the public can follow Ponce’s journey and offer words of support along the way. Visit the website at www.charlotteponce.com.

TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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