Girl mauled by raccoon as baby gets rare surgery

(WXYZ) - Surgery is something Charlotte Ponce has become accustomed to in her young life.

The 11-year old was back at Beaumont Children’s Hospital on Tuesday for a rare surgery that will provide her with a right ear. It is something she has lived without ever since a pet raccoon mauled her face when she was just three months old.

“It went very well, as planned, as expected, no problem at all,” said Dr. Kongkrit Chaiyasate, a plastic surgeon at Beaumont Children’s Hospital.

The procedure, which has only been done twice before, lasted seven hours.

Dr. Chaiyasate carved cartilage from four of Charlotte’s ribs and then molded it into the shape of an ear. It was then implanted inside her forearm to grow.

“She’s one girl who never complains,” Dr. Chaiysate said. “She always quiet. When she’s in pain she never says anything. She smiles, she’s an unbelievable and strong girl.”

Charlotte has undergone six other reconstructive surgeries since 2012. The operations have given her a nose and completed her lip. Soon this brave young girl will also have a right ear so she can wear two earrings and wear sunglasses.

“All she ever said to me was, ‘I just want to be normal,’ said Sharon Ponce, who is the girl’s adoptive mother. Normal for Charlotte was having a nose and a ear.

“It wasn’t like she was asking for something out of the ordinary,” Ponce said. “She just wanted to be like everybody else so when she walked in a room they weren’t looking at what wasn’t there.”

Charlotte is expected to spend a week in the hospital. She will return to Royal Oak in June to have the implant transferred from her arm to her right ear.