Aimee Copeland, the student with flesh-eating bacteria disease is battling for her life. watch the video
In the thirteen days since Aimee Copeland was admitted to the hospital, she lost her hip, one of her legs and now doctors are saying that she might lose more of her limbs to the flesh eating bacteria.
An adventure in the woods turned into the beginning of horrific disease for the 24-year-old student from Georgia. Aimee Copeland suffered a zip line injury while on an outing near the Little Tallapoosa River in the woods and contracted a very rare flesh-eating disease caused by bacteria.
The Copeland family is fighting the tough times bravely and Aimee is putting up a rbave face to her misadventure.
Copeland’s father, Andy Copeland, said, “Aimee appears to have normal brain function at this time, which is something I’m celebrating because within Aimee we have a very compassionate heart and an incredible mind of intellect.”
On May 1st Aimee was having an outing and was riding a homemade zip line over the woods when the line snapped. Her fall cut open her left calf. She was rushed to the hospital but the cut marked the entry of the flesh-eating bacteria. Doctors cleaned the wound and closed it with 22 staples, but the bacteria had burrowed deep into the wound. The infection that ensued was necrotizing fasciitis, a rare but deadly infection that claimed her leg last week, and threatens her remaining limbs now.
The bacteria behind the infection is called Aeromonas hydrophila and lives in warm climates and fresh water – like the river over which Aimee was zip lining. The bacteria rarely cause the flesh-eating disease, but when they do then it becomes very deadly.
Dr. Richard Besser, chief health and medical editor at ABC News explained, “This was a perfect storm. She had an injury to her leg, she was exposed to water then had this germ, and she was one of those people where the germ just took off.”
Necrotizing fasciitis caused by Aeromonas has mortality rates of over 60%, as per the report published in the journal Clinical Microbiology Reviews in 2010.
Andy Copeland said, “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. The most important thing is my daughter is still alive.”
Aimee was admitted with an injured ankle, but within a week the bacteria had ravaged her whole leg and she had to be amputated. She cannot talk because of her illness and once her heart stopped beating and she had to be resuscitated by the doctors. She remains in critical condition, relying on a ventilator to breathe. She is coherent and gestures and nods to communicate. Aimee does not seem to remember much of her ordeal in the accident and when she came around she gestured, “What happened?” and “Where am I?”
She has not yet been told that she has lost her leg.
Her sister Paige Copeland said, “I just told her if she keeps improving like this, she’ll be out of here in no time.”