Michigan girl attacked by raccoon released after 1st surgery

Published On: Aug 30 2012 04:47:29 PM EDT   Updated On: Aug 22 2012 07:11:25 PM EDT

Charlotte Ponce said her time at Beaumont Children's Hospital has been "pretty cool."

ROYAL OAK, Mich. -

Charlotte Ponce arrived in a little red wagon Wednesday to greet reporters at Beaumont Children's Hospital in Royal Oak.

She said the time she has spent at the hospital has been "pretty cool."

"I like the playroom. I like to read books and play with stuff in the other room," she said. "I think it's really nice here."

Charlotte, 10, underwent the first of a list of surgeries she will need since a raccoon attack left her without her right ear, nose, part of her lip and cheekbone. Surgeons plan to rebuild those features over the next two years. On Wednesday, doctors said the first operation went very well.

"What you see here is not a finished nose," said a member of the surgical team. "We completed the first stage of reconstruction of her nose."

Stage one created the nasal lining. In 6 to 8 weeks, Charlotte will be ready for step two which includes using part of her ribs to build a foundation to support her new nose.

"I saw her look at herself in the mirror and she kind of went like, 'Huh,' and it didn't even phase her," said her mother, Sharon Ponce.

With a bouquet of balloons and a wagon filled with good wishes, the family headed home to Spring Lake in west Michigan. The will be back at Beaumont in a few weeks for the next surgery. They are excited for the next step in Charlotte's recovery.

"This has been amazing," Sharon said. "It's been amazing for her and for us."


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