About Charlotte

Charlotte Rose Ponce is a twelve year old girl from West Michigan.  Like most girls her age, she likes to play pretend and dress up. And, like most girls her age, she’s becoming self-conscious about her appearance.  But Charlotte’s concerns about her appearance have been anything but typical.

As an infant, Charlotte was attacked by a pet raccoon in her crib.  She barely survived the attack, and spent months in the hospital before release.  The animal had eaten away her nose, right ear, part of her lips and cheekbones.  Fortunately, her bright blue eyes remained untouched.  She and her brother, Marshall, were removed from the home and put into foster care with her great aunt and uncle while the parents were investigated.   Nearly three years later, the state formally removed parental rights and Tim and Sharon Ponce, the children’s great aunt and uncle, adopted the children.

Before her tenth birthday, Charlotte had already gone through half a dozen major reconstructive surgeries.  Skin grafts from her forehead helped to replace some of the scar tissue between her eye and nose.  A very painful surgery in which posts were drilled into her skull to mount prosthetic ear and nose pieces was unsuccessful.   Her facial tissue became inflamed and would try to heal over them.  Eventually, one of the posts intended to hold the prosthetic nose in place was dislodged and pushed out by tissues trying to heal themselves.  Her prosthetic ear posts are perpetually infected.  In early 2012, they were capped in hopes that this would help them heal. As they continued to be an irritant and disappointment, the family looked to alternate options.

In mid-2012, Sharon Ponce learned of a surgeon in Eastern Michigan who specialized in reconstructive surgeries, Dr Konkrit Chaiyasate. When she contacted him, she found he had recently performed a successful nose reconstruction for a Honduran boy.  Dr. C immediately got to work restoring Charlotte’s appearance. Dr. C has already performed nearly a dozen operations, and this far has constructed a nose, restored part of her upper lip, built up her flattened right cheek, and most recently, has constructed a right ear. He has done a phenomenal job.

Since 2012, Charlotte has received letters from all over the world and has gained new confidence. She has also since learned that she struggles with dyslexia among other learning and emotional challenges. Charlotte, now 12 years old, is not yet enrolled in the 2014 fall school year as her family is weighing local options to meet Charlotte’s specialized educational needs.


30 Comments

30 thoughts on “About Charlotte

  1. I live in the Grand Rapids area and remember hearing about Charlotte back when she was first injured. I’m so happy to see her growing up to be a normal little 10 year old girl. I can’t offer any help financially, but I will be praying for her recovery and that she realizes that no matter what her outside looks like, what’s important is the beauty inside (I’m sure she knows this better than most of us!) I will share Charlotte’s story with my friends and family.

    • Alaine, thank you for the prayers and kind words. Charlotte truly is a beautiful little girl, very strong and determined. We’ll keep everyone posted on the progress as she goes through the upcoming surgeries.

    • Thank you so much! I actually already checked out your blog when you first followed it. I’m always looking for great recipes. Not disciplined enough to be vegan, but I do enjoy vegan recipes a couple nights per week. /// Amber

      • It’s not for everyone, but I hope you find something for your occasional vegan meals :)
        I don’t know if you clicked on the link, but the “award” is more like a networking thing. After I posted mine today, I got more hits than I’ve had since I started my blog almost 2 months ago. Although I have a feeling you’re going to get a lot more attention once that interview is in the Press. Good luck!

  2. I would like to see if I could get a mini freezer donated and fill it with popsicles for her when she gets home. Would you be opposed if I could pull it off? Let me know. You can email me.
    Kim

    • Hi Kim, what a creative and sweet idea. You may absolutely see if you can arrange this. If it doesn’t work out, it still would be a great idea to stock up the family freezer with some popsicles for her to enjoy when she is home.

  3. Awesome! I just didn’t want to get something that the family didn’t have room for or didn’t want. I will work on this….no guarantees, but my friends all know that I don’t give up easily when it’s something I believe in :0) I think I read that Charlotte’s favorite popsicle it the “Rocket, Red, White and Blue ones right?”
    Kim

    • Absolutely, you can send one to PO Box 397, Fruitport, MI 49415. She may have to be at the hospital up to 10 days now, but we’ll be holding all her mail for when she returns.

  4. In awe of this beautiful young lady and her wonderful family. Sending strength during her recovery. Cheers to you, Miss Charlotte! You are an inspiration.

  5. Such an amazing story and I am so happy to know she had such wonderful people in her life to take care of her. My prayers are with you all!

  6. Pingback: PHOTOS: Girl Mauled By Raccoon Gets Facial Surgery Thanks To Donors | Test

  7. I just wanted to tell you that you are an amazing young lady! I know you were to little to remember but you used to come to my house to visit and after your accident we (me and my husband) came to the hospital everyday and sat with you for hours until they wouldnt let us in anymore…I have always wondered about how you were doing and am glad that I have found you again! Im glad that you are doing so well and would like to say…Im really glad that I got to meet such an amazing person!

  8. Hi charlotte. We miss you, cant wait till you get home. We love you and miss you very much. I think boss misses you to. See you tomorrow. Love the allen family. Hi charlotte it is aleanna your best friend i miss you so much i cant wait till you get home it feels like for ever i cant stand not seeing you love you so much love aleanna love you so much

  9. Wishing you and your family all the best. Our prayers will go out to you as we wish your speedy recovery… Stay strong…

  10. Charlotte,
    I have a daughter, Rachel, who is 10 years old and another, Lauren, who is 8. They both want to pray for you as you go through these surgeries and recoveries. God must have a very special plan for you. Hope you are able to run around again very soon!

  11. Charlotte,
    You truly are amazing! I’m 30 years old and I wish I had even an ounce of your bravery! You really are a beautiful girl! I’m praying for a speedy recovery.

  12. Miss Charlotte , you will heal, you will look the way you want to, and lead the life you want to. It will take a little more time. You will be an inspiration to others with your story that you will tell to many. You are beautiful now! And you are loved, by those that know you, and us that don’t. Keep that smile going. I’m praying for you.
    Krissy in Livonia, MI

  13. Be strong Charlotte you a beautiful 10 year old girl who endure. Keep it and be happy. You are so special I support you to the end

    Hugs and kisses Laura Bilde (Denmark)

  14. Stay strong, kiddo! God has plans for you. You’re a special little girl and you will do great things! You have some of the best doctors in the world on your team and a whole community of people cheering for you!!!

  15. Prayers going out to Charlotte, her family and her care team at the hospital. May you have a speedy recovery from your latest surgery. You are a beautiful and strong fighter. Someday this will all be behind you and I can’t wait to see what God has planned for you! Stay strong sweet girl ♥

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