ROYAL OAK (WWJ) – A West Michigan girl disfigured by a raccoon attack is back for more life-changing surgery.
A plastic surgeon at Beaumont Children’s Hospital Friday will transplant the ear that’s been growing under the skin of 12-year-old Charlotte Ponce’s right arm, to the right side of her head, replacing the one she lost in the attack.
Charlotte’s mom, Sharon, says the doctor who’s reconstructed Charlotte’s nose, face and ear – Kongkrit Chaiyasate, has been a godsend.
“He had a conversation with Charlotte, and he said ‘Charlotte, how would you like a nose?’ And then he said we can make you an ear. And I just went, ‘huh?’ Because nobody ever, ever, ever told us that she could get an ear, they said, ‘that’s impossible’ there is no way she’s ever going to get a real ear,” said Sharon.
The surgery is expected to take 6 to 8 hours. Dr. Chaiyasate will know in about three days whether it was successful.
This is just another step in the long journey for Ponce, who was three 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.