Aimee Copeland, 24, is still in critical condition almost a full week after suffering a cut on her leg that is now threatening her life.
The bacteria in question is usually not life-threatening, but this was a sort of perfect storm of circumstances. Copeland has had most of her left leg amputated since the horrific accident occurred on May 1st.
Aimee was kayaking with a group of friends along the Little Tallapoosa River in Georgia when the group decided to go zip-lining with a homemade rope.
When Copeland gave it a try, the line snapped and she cut her leg. Doctors believe she may have come into contact with the Aeromonas hydrophila bacteria in the water, where it entered her body through the open wound.
In this instance, the bacteria triggered a rare flesh-eating disease that dissolves muscle.
Copeland got medical attention and had the gash closed with 22 staples. She was sent home with pain killers, but the intense pain wouldn’t go away and she went back to the hospital for antibiotics.
By the end of the week, Aimee was told she’d have to have her left leg amputated after she was diagnosed necrotizing fasciitis.
She’s not out of the woods yet. She may still have to have her her hands and right foot amputated due to poor circulation.
Andy Copeland posted to Facebook yesterday, saying that well-wishers “should rejoice on this day, because Aimee’s greatest attributes are her incredible intellect and her loving compassion and I am certain that mankind will benefit from both when the tubes are finally removed.”
More in the video below, after the jump.
- Student who cut leg on homemade zip line has flesh-eating disease (jacksonville.com)
- Woman contracts flesh-eating bacteria after zip lining accident (foxnews.com)
- Flesh-Eating Thrill: Zip Line Costs Student Her Leg (abcnews.go.com)