Charlotte's new ear

Beaumont surgeon uses ribs to build new ear for Charlotte Ponce

Kongkrit Chaiyasate, M.D., pediatric plastic surgeon, Beaumont Children’s Hospital, has completed the first of a series of surgeries to create a new ear for 11-year-old Charlotte Ponce of Spring Lake, Mich. When she was just three-months-old, a pet raccoon attacked Charlotte in her crib. The raccoon destroyed her nose, ear and cheek. Charlotte and her great aunt and uncle, who adopted her after the attack, live in western Michigan, but drove to Beaumont Children’s Hospital after they read news reports of Dr. Chaiyasate’s reconstructive surgical abilities.

Over the past two years, Dr. Chaiyasate has performed several facial surgeries to repair the damage from the attack, including building a new nose for Charlotte and repairing her lip and cheek. On April 15, 2014, Dr. Chaiyasate removed pieces of Charlotte’s ribs to create a new ear for her. He placed the molded pieces of the ribs under the skin of Charlotte’s forearm to allow skin to grow around the new ear. In about eight weeks, Dr. Chaiyasate will remove the ear from her forearm and attach it to her head.

The day after the surgery, Charlotte’s mother, Sharon Ponce, said her daughter was doing great at Beaumont Children’s Hospital and looking forward to getting her first pair of earrings after the second surgery is complete.

Charlotte’s procedure was the first in Michigan and one of only a few performed in the U.S. Her story has been shared across the country and abroad as well:

You’ve read Charlotte’s story and now she would love to hear from you! Send your well-wishes to:

Charlotte Ponce
PO Box 397
Fruitport, MI 49415

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6 Responses

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  1. Judy Lesniak
    Apr 23, 2014 - 08:18 PM

    The angles at Beaumont are with you! Your BEAUTIFUL CHARLOTTE☀

  2. Erin
    Apr 25, 2014 - 08:22 PM

    Wow, this is amazing, im so happy for you getting to the right people that can help you live as normal as a life as possible, i wish you the best, and i know you will look Gorgous!!!! Your a very strong girl, always have faith in God (Jehovah) (Psalms 83:18)

  3. Amy H
    Apr 30, 2014 - 04:46 PM

    Beautiful girl!! My daughter Kennedy went through ear reconstruction surgeries as well. Sadly, due to a MRSA infection, she lost her new ear (but now has a prosthetic ear!). We’re wishing great success for Charlotte and hope to someday see a picture of her with those earrings!

  4. zada
    May 01, 2014 - 11:52 AM

    So happy for you. Sweetie may God continue to bless you

  5. Colete Morlock
    May 14, 2014 - 01:22 PM

    I saw this on the local news. So glad for this little girl and her surgeon.

  6. Karen
    Jul 19, 2014 - 10:04 AM

    What a strong and courageous person you are. The world looks forward to having the privalege of seeing where all of your lifes experiences will take you and the lives that you and your story will touch. May you continue to an inspiration to all that see and hear about your lifes journey! You Rock :)!


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