08/23/2012 02:53 pm ET Updated Oct 23, 2012

Charlotte Ponce, Michigan Girl Mauled By Pet Raccoon, Gets First Donor-Supported Surgery (PHOTOS)

After Charlotte Ponce was mauled by her family's pet raccoon 10 years ago, the brave girl is finally receiving the treatment that she deserves.

The 10-year-old Michigan girl is recovering after the Aug. 15 procedure that involved removing tissue from her forearm in order to construct a new lining for her disfigured nose, according to a hospital release.

"I'm OK and I have a nose," Charlotte said in regard to the eight-hour surgery she underwent a week ago, according to the Tribune.

At only three months of age, young Charlotte endured the tragic attack, which resulted in severe facial disfiguration. Thanks to donations exceeding $10,000, the 10-year-old Michigan girl successfully completed the first of a two-year series of reconstructive surgeries, and was released from the Beaumont Children's Hospital a full day ahead of schedule, according to a release.

"She's tough," Charlotte's surgeon, Dr. Kongkrit Chaiyasate, told "She wants [the surgery] more than you and me can understand. She lets me touch the dressing. She doesn't move away. Most kids fuss and act goofy. She pretends like there's no pain."

Chaiyasate explains that a skin graft was added to the nose following surgery to serve as a dressing that would protect her wound until the next operation.

Subsequent surgeries will involve forming the exterior of her new nose from forehead tissue, in addition to other procedures aimed at reconstructing the brave girl's ear and upper lip.

"We have a lot more work to do," Chaiyasate said in the release. "At the end of the second or third stage operation [we] will get a better picture of what the nose is going to look like."

Chaiyasate explained that the surgeries should conclude in two years, at which point the young girl will finally possess the ability to move on to the next chapter of her life -- a chapter that will perhaps involve giving back for the amazing care that she has received, reports.

"When I grow up," the 10-year-old told her mother at the conclusion of the operation, "I want to become a nurse."

Click here to read Charlotte Ponce's full story.



Girl Mauled By Raccoon Gets Facial Surgery