After a terrifying ordeal with the flesh-eating disease and an intensive, three month rehabilitation, we’re happy to report that Aimee Copeland is back—and stronger than ever. Appearing recently in a talk show interview, the plucky, 24 year old grad student had a chance to speak about her near death struggle with Aeromonas hydrophila—the common waterborne bacterium that took both of her hands, feet and right leg.
Some readers may remember that Aimee’s troubles began after suffering a zip-line laceration that required more than 20 staples to close. Unbeknownst to anyone at the time, the wound was contaminated with Aeromonas hydrophilia— an organism common in brackish waters of the Tallapoosa river, near where Aimee was swimming. Before anything could be done, the infection had already begun to take root and within three days time, Aimee knew something was very wrong. “My entire leg was a dark purple colour. I wasn’t able to walk. I wasn’t able to speak. The only thing I was able to babble was, ‘I think I’m dying.”
Our last post about Aimee Copeland was a sad one. A beautiful, loving, healthy 24 year old woman of Georgia suffered a devastating zip line accident that escalated from twelve staples in a deep leg gash into the amputation of her left leg, right foot, both hands, and part of her torso at the merciless hands of the flesh-eating bacteria Aeromonas hydrophila, commonly known as necrotizing fasciitis.
But now, it fills me with joy to be able to deliver good news about Aimee, to tell the beginning of a happy ending. After a fresh air-deprived 49 days inside the walls of the Doctor’s Hospital in Augusta, Aimee has ventured outside for the very first time. Less than a month ago, doctors gave her little chance of survival. Last Sunday, her condition was changed from “serious” to “good.” Last Monday, she was out in the sunshine with her parents. Fittingly, her father, Andy, remarked in his blog that “the sun has returned to her life,” noting that she had a bright smile and a “beauty of survival, of resilience.” This Tuesday, Aimee has been discharged from the hospital, and is headed to a rehabilitation clinic. In a whirlwind of good news, Aimee is well on the way to recovery.
I couldn’t conceive of what it would be like for my daughter to lose her hands and the only other foot she has, as well, and that appears to be what is going to happen– Aimee Copeland’s Father
What is necrotizing fasciitis? The mention of this bacterial infection is often met with blank stares. However, those in the know, like Andy Copeland, will tell you of the horrific nature of the rare flesh-eating infection. Copeland’s 24 year-old daughter, Aimee, contracted the infection a few days after suffering a nasty fall off of a homemade zip line on May 1. The accident resulted in a deep gash on her left calf which required nearly two dozen staples.
Three days later, Aimee began to complain of severe pain in her leg and was rushed back to the emergency room. Aimee was quickly diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis caused by Aeromonas hydrophila, bacteria commonly found in brackish waters, and was flown to Augusta for surgery. Unable to treat her using antibiotics, Aimee’s physicians were forced to amputate her left foot. However, the bacteria continued to spread and her hands and remaining foot now require amputation. Read more »