Georgia College Student Contracts A Rare Flesh Eating Disease

Fri, May 11, 2012 8:22pm EDT by 29 Comments
Aimee Copeland Flesh Eating Disease

Aimee Copeland is expected to survive after being infected with a flesh eating bacteria, but unfortunately not without losing a few limbs.

Aimee Copeland is a beautiful, intelligent, 24-year-old masters student at the University of West Georgia, whose life changed after a zip-lining accident. Doctors were able to amputate her leg to save her life, but say that while her condition is improving, she will most likely need additional amputations to her hands and remaining foot.

“Her fingers basically appear mummified,” her father, Andy Copeland, said in a press conference, according to the Daily Mail. That said, the family is happy she didn’t suffer any irreversible brain or lung damage, which is what doctors thought originally might kill her.

“What we’ve got is nothing short of a miracle. My baby is alive and her mind is good. I know we have a difficult road ahead, but right now we’re rejoicing,” her dad said.

This nightmare started when Aimee, a lover of the outdoors, went kayaking in the the Little Tallapoosa River in Carrollton, Georgia. When she stopped to ride a home-made zip-line, the rope snapped and she fell — cutting open her left leg.

At first, she was taken to the hospital and sent home with 22 staples on her leg, but the next day she complained of agonizing pain. When she returned to the hospital they gave her an MRI and sent her away with pain killers. But just days later, a friend rushed her to the hospital on Friday, May 4, after she work up pale and feeling weak.

The doctors told her that she had contracted necrotizing fasciitis,an aggressive flesh-eating bacteria, and that her leg would have to removed. During the amputation, the 24-year-old suffered from a heart attack but was able to be resuscitated. Aimee’s mother is glad she is recovering, but fearful of the future that lies ahead.

“We want to think that way, but it can just change. It’s like a roller coaster every day,” Donna Copeland said.

Aimee is currently in critical condition, aware of her surroundings, and able to communicate. Her friends and family are sending their support to the Copeland family by donating blood and donating to “Aimee’s fund” to help her in the rehabilitation process. We hope that Aimee makes a swift recovery and are shocked it took her so long to be diagnosed.

UPDATE: Flesh Eating Bacteria — Aimee Copeland Still Fighting Disease In Critical Condition

Tell us what YOU think about Aimee’s story. Did you think it was possible to contract a flesh-eating bacteria from a hike through the woods?

Nicole Fukuoka