Ten years after the family’s pet raccoon mauled Charlotte Ponce’s face, the Michigan girl is finally getting the reconstructive surgery she’s dreamed of, thanks to generous donors.
Charlotte was just three months old when the family’s wild pet escaped from its cage and tore off her ear, upper lip and nose, WXYZ reports. The disfigured baby, who was adopted along with her brother by an aunt and uncle after the attack, has grown up into a feisty 10-year-old who will soon get her wish to look like any other normal child with the help of her supporters, according to MLive.com.
“I don’t feel so alone anymore,” Sharon, Charlotte’s adoptive mom, told the news outlet of how the outpouring of donations, cards and well wishes have helped uplift the family.
Click through the slideshow to see photos of Charlotte as she prepares for her new look and life. Story continues below.
While insurance covers the estimated eight surgeries Charlotte will get over the course of two years, the Ponce’s need help paying the hefty costs associated with travel and lodging, Sharon writes on her blog, Healing Charlotte. She also hopes to raise funds for Charlotte’s mental health care, a service that insurance doesn’t pay for.
Though Sharon quit her job when she adopted Charlotte, so she could take care of her medical needs, this is the first time that Charlotte’s parents have requested help from donors, and they’ve certainly stepped up. According to MLive.com, the family has raised $10,000 and Sharon hopes to use this show of goodwill to teach her kids a lesson in helping others.
“With so many people giving you money and support, it’s a good thing to teach them we need to give back,” Sharon told MLive.com. “We don’t have a lot of money, but we have time."
Charlotte recently had her first of two surgeries on her nose, and though her doctors rank the level of difficulty an “11” (on a scale from one to 10), the determined girl is recovering well, WDIV reports.
Though Charlotte has a long road ahead of her, her playful spirit is perfectly intact, Sharon wrote on her blog. When Sharon thought she heard her daughter wincing in pain after surgery, Charlotte, who loves animals, immediately reassured her: “No, I’m being a monkey.”
To help Charlotte on her road to recovery, consider making a donation on PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Charlotte Ponce, PO Box 397, Fruitport, MI 49415.