Revolutionary surgery gives new ear to 12-year-old mauled by raccoon as baby

(WXYZ) - Ten days after an extraordinary surgery gave a western Michigan girl a new right ear, Charlotte Ponce is headed home.

The 12-year-old checked out Beaumont Children’s Hospital today and headed back to Spring Lake, Michigan excited to do things many take for granted.

“I can finally wear earrings and sunglasses,” said Charlotte. 

For Charlotte, that is a huge step towards overcoming an attack that happened when she was only a baby.  A pet raccoon mauled her ear, nose, and mouth.  The attack almost killed her.

RELATED: Major reconstructive surgery planned for girl attacked by raccoon

Her biological parents lost custody.  Her great aunt and uncle adopted her, becoming mom and dad.   Seven Action News was there as they stayed by her side, preparing for the revolutionary surgery last Thursday. 

It was a surgery some doctors said was impossible.  Doctors created an ear formed from rib cartilage and skin on Charlotte’s forearm.  She had already had numerous surgeries on her injuries, including an operation that gave her a nose.

“I know it is hard on her but she takes the pain,” said her dad Tim Ponce.

“I think she is great,” said her mom Sharon Ponce.  “She is my hero. She is little miss spunky over there.”

While Charlotte was in the hospital recovering she enjoyed receiving gifts from people across the country who heard her story.  Many sent her earrings, sunglasses, or stuffed owls.  She loves owls.

Her ear is still healing, and will need some less serious future operations, but Charlotte is ecstatic to have it.  She says she keeps her life motto in mind.

“Rock what you got,” said Charlotte. 

Speaking of rocking, the pre-teen who shows off a streak of died-pink hair is hoping to get one more thing as she recovers.

“I hope to get a card from Katy Perry,”  said Charlotte. 

The little girl who many didn’t think would survive, who was told she would never get an ear, and who has persevered through adversity says getting a card from the star she idolizes would be one more small piece of evidence that anything is possible.

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