Tag Archive | charlotte ponce

Many Thanks!

Charlotte received so many cards upon her return from the hospital that it took her a couple days to get through them! She is very grateful for the kindness and show of support.

In addition to the cards, her doll Carly received some gifts, too, including new clothes and a “get well” kit so that she can have a bandaged arm like Charlotte.

Charlotte has received DOZENS of new earrings! It will take her a couple months to wear each set once her ear is ready for piercing.

As before, we are overwhelmed by the kindness of all of the people who have never met Charlotte but have taken the time to make her feel special. Thank you.

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Doing Great

Charlotte is in a new school this year, and she has really enjoyed the transition.  She has chosen to take Dance and Art classes as her elective and is already making new friends.  She is up early every morning and eager to go to school.

Charlotte also has started gymnastics on Thursday nights.  She has so much fun and is picking up pretty quickly.

Charlotte had a surgery this summer that went very well.  Some fat (they had a hard time finding enough because she’s so skinny) was taken from her abdomen and used to build out her right cheek.  Part of her left ear was used to even out the shape of her nose.

My Fox Detroit featured Charlotte earlier this month in a wonderful piece.
Fox 2 News Story on Charlotte Ponce

The photo below was taken prior to her most recent surgery.  Near her birthday, she received a very generous gift of classic books, which she has started reading.  She still gets cards and notes of encouragement each month, and this helps boost her confidence and to remember that she has so many people out there praying and caring for her.

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Charlotte enjoys a gift of new reading material.   Included in the classic paperbacks is a copy of  “Charlotte’s Web” – perfect!

Charlotte started seeing a new therapist, and she seems to be benefiting already from the appointments.  Charlotte is undergoing a series of testing and evaluation regarding the effect that her post-traumatic development has had on her.  It will take time and effort, but through hard work, she should start to see improvement in her social behavior and her education.

At the end of the month, Dr. Kongkrit Chaiyasate, chief plastic surgeon on Charlotte’s reconstruction, will be honored at a banquet for his excellent work.  Charlotte and our family have been invited to attend.  An author writing about the outstanding work done at Beaumont will feature Charlotte’s story in her book, and will photograph her at the banquet.

We are so fortunate to have seen Charlotte come so far in the past year.  She has healed very well from her surgeries and is starting the road to emotional and mental recovery.  She will still have a series of surgeries to rebuild her right ear, which is missing entirely.  This will likely begin next summer.

Thank you for your continued well wishes and prayers.

Update on Charlotte

Many of you have been asking for an update on Charlotte.  Physically, Charlotte is doing very well, but emotionally, she is still a bit fragile.  Switching to a younger grade at her school mid-year was good for her academically but hard socially.  She had one close friend in fourth grade whom she doesn’t get to see much because they now have different lunch hours and recess.  As a third grader, she is older than many of the kids in her class.  She may switch schools next fall to ease the difficulty of having her peers move on a grade ahead of her.

Her adoptive mother, Sharon, had surgery two weeks ago.  It was fairly routine, but required overnight stay in the hospital where her uncle was hospitalized with terminal cancer.  While it was explained to Charlotte that this was nothing for her to worry about, she misunderstood and thought that her mother would die.  She did not say anything until she melted down completely nearly a week after the surgery.  She seems to understand now that her mother is in no immediate danger and that life can go back to normal, but it was a very difficult time for her emotionally.

As some of you following may know, Charlotte’s uncle did not make it to the party planned in his honor which was mentioned in the last post.  He had passed away the night before in his home.  There was a lovely service that was well-attended as Tom Ponce was a friendly, hardworking man with many good friends.  Charlotte’s father, Tim, has had an especially difficult time dealing with his identical twin brother’s passing.

The family participated in Relay for Life – Muskegon over the weekend in remembrance of Tom Ponce.  While much of the extended family could not make the event, the immediate family was in attendance for the majority of the 24 hour event.  Charlotte walked more than five miles in laps on Friday evening alone.  She helped to sell hair ribbons and tulle tutus to raise funds in support of the American Cancer Society.  The family is hoping to make this an annual event in remembrance of Tom and other friends and family members who have battled cancer.

Charlotte has a surgery coming up in July.  The doctor is going to plump up her right cheek, which will help her face be symmetrical and should make a big improvement on her overall appearance.  Charlotte needs to fatten up a little bit for her next surgery so they have some fat to borrow for her cheek.  Charlotte is a skinny little girl, and each time Dr. Chiayasate sees her in his office, he tisks and says, “More donuts!”

We also may look into electrolysis for hair removal on her nose.  Her nose needs a shave every few days as the transplant skin from her forehead retained the hair follicles and she gets a bit fuzzy if they go untamed.  We are hoping that permanent hair removal will help her nose look more natural.

Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers.  Probably mostly as a result in our lapse in posts, Charlotte has seen very little mail.  If you have a stamp and a few minutes to spare, please consider sending Charlotte a brief note to let her know that you’re still thinking of her.  She loves to hear from you! Charlotte Ponce, PO Box 397, Fruitport, MI 49415.

Wishing you a warm and blessed week.

Today’s Surgery

Right now, Charlotte is undergoing surgery at Beaumont Children’s Hospital in Royal Oak, MI.  She went into surgery at 11AM and it was expected to last approximately four hours.  Tim & Sharon are eagerly waiting for word from the waiting room, and will update us as soon as she is out.

She was a bit more nervous about this surgery, which she didn’t verbalize but we could sense from her behavior.  The doctor, in preparation for the stages to come, showed her photos of the surgery results on other patients.  Visually and emotionally, this is expected to be the most difficult phase of her reconstructive surgeries.

In preparation, Charlotte has started seeing a therapist and will continue to have counseling during this difficult process.  She started private tutoring last week, which thanks to the generosity of the community, the family can afford.  Her tutor is focusing on sharpening primarily her reading and math skills, which need improvement to bring her up to her fourth grade peers.  Her self-confidence and performance in the one-on-one setting are improving.

Thank you to those who have continue to share words of encouragement and prayers.
  Thank you to those in the press who have updated viewers and readers on her progress.

Rosy Outlook

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Charlotte plucked a gorgeous red rose from her garden, and it brought a smile to her face.

Thanks for words of encouragement!  We are moving forward, surrounded by love and kindness.

Charlotte’s left forearm is healing nicely, and within a couple of weeks she may be able to start guitar lessons.  While Charlotte was out last month for her first surgery, we surprised her with a used guitar, pink case, practice amp and a month of lessons.  The guys at Firehouse in Muskegon were very helpful with guitar selection and pricing, and are looking forward to helping Charlotte learn the new instrument.

The surgeons borrowed tissue and a vein from her forearm to construct her nose and establish blood flow to the area.

At the Pizza Ranch

The staff and guests at the Pizza Ranch on Sherman Blvd in Muskegon are great. Luke and I are enjoying helping out at the benefit that they are hosting today in her honor.  Tim and Sharon will be here after 4PM.  Charlotte wanted to come but changed her mind because her nose is hurting more today and she wants to take it easy.

Thanks to Renee at Alamo Car Rental for helping us to secure a rental car in short notice as the family cars need repairs before making the trip across state tomorrow.  Charlotte may need to stay in the hospital a few days if her nose has become infected.

Pizza Ranch

The Pizza Ranch in Muskegon is hosting a fundraiser for Charlotte.  10% of sales on Labor Day will be donated by the Pizza Ranch.  Family members are going to help bus tables between 12-8 PM and will be there to update guests on her progress.

We would like to thank Dan and the staff at the Pizza Ranch for contacting us with their plans to do this fundraiser.

The Pizza Ranch is located at 1848 E Sherman Blvd, Muskegon, MI  49444.  Contact the restaurant at 231-739-3300.