Michigan girl mauled by raccoon gets new face

Charlotte Ponce with Dr Kongkrit Chaiyasate after the latest surgery.
Charlotte Ponce with Dr Kongkrit Chaiyasate after the latest surgery. Photo credit: Dr Kongkrit Chaiyasate / Facebook

A US teenager who was mauled by a raccoon as a baby had received a new face, after years of reconstructive surgeries.

At just three months old, Charlotte Ponce was a victim of a savage attack by her family's pet raccoon.

She was being bottle fed when a droplet of milk fell on her cheek, causing the nearby raccoon to pounce on her.

Her birth father strangled the raccoon to death immediately after, however not before Charlotte lost an ear and much of her nose.

Charlotte Ponce as a toddler, after the raccoon attack.
Charlotte Ponce as a toddler, after the attack. Photo credit: Dr Kongkrit Chaiyasate / Facebook

The scale of the devastation meant the hospital Charlotte was taken to was at a loss for what to do.

In subsequent years, her birth father and mother lost custody of Charlotte and her brother. The two were taken in by their great aunt and uncle, Sharon and Tim Ponce, in Michigan.

She underwent more than a dozen reconstructive surgeries, but it wasn't until 2017 that she received the news that she would have a new ear and nose.

The doctor who performed the surgery, Dr Kongkrit Chaiyasate, was the first to tell her she could have the new features.

"I came across Dr Chaiyasate online and we instantly knew he was the doctor for Charlotte, he cared for her like she was his own," Ms Ponce told The Mirror.

"I remember he sat her down and asked if she wanted a new nose and ear. He told her he could give her both.

"We were amazed, no one had ever said that before."

Charlotte Ponce with Dr Kongkrit Chaiyasate and her family after the latest surgery.
Charlotte Ponce with Dr Kongkrit Chaiyasate and her family after the latest surgery. Photo credit: Dr Kongkrit Chaiyasate / Facebook

Dr Chaiyasate implanted the basic structure of an ear structure under the skin in her forearm. From there it grew into a fully developed ear, which was transplanted to her face.

Despite all of her struggles, the now 14-year-old is still described as a normal playful teenager.

She had previously told local media she was collecting dozens of pairs of earrings in anticipation of receiving a new ear - which now, she can finally wear.

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