Two months later: Aimee Copeland, left, with her parents, Andy and Donna Copeland, outside Doctors Hospital in Augusta, Georgia. She was finally released today
The young woman whose body was attacked by a flesh-eating bacteria has finally left hospital two months after contracting the deadly disease when she fell from a broken zip-line.
Aimee Copeland, from Georgia, was released today from Doctors Hospital in Augusta. The 24-year-old is moving to an inpatient rehabilitation clinic.
She’ll spend the next several weeks learning to move with the aid of a wheelchair after having her left leg, right foot and both hands amputated.
Copeland’s speedy recovery has defied doctors’ initial prognosis. Her father says they at first gave her just a slim chance of surviving. She spent weeks sedated and using a respirator while undergoing amputations and skin grafts to replace infected skin.
Her father Andy spoke to msnbc about how momentous an occasion it was for Aimee to leave hospital.
‘I think you could say that she’s looking forward to it to the same degree that a child would look forward to leaving high school and going off to college, for her this is a major milestone.
‘I would consider it a rite of passage for her as it is the opportunity that she has to actually venture out and relearn her life skills and be able to resume as normal a life as she can have.
‘I believe her life can be extremely normal, whatever that word actually means. I think physically she’s actually progressed rapidly, certainly far ahead of the doctor’s schedule, what they thought she would do.
‘I would say spiritually, mentally, psychologically she is so strong right now and for her, to actually be able to grasp the concept that she’s lost her hands and feels blessed over that is an amazing thing.’
He also revealed they are in the process of making the house ‘Aimee friendly’ and building an extension onto it to be able to meet her needs.
The 24-year-old developed necrotizing fasciitis in a small cut she suffered after falling from a homemade zip line over a west Georgia river.
Mr Copeland wrote on his blog last week that when aimee and her family ventured outside for the first time since the accident, they reflected on the life-changing events – and Aimee showed breathtaking courage.
‘I don’t have any regrets about what has happened,’ Aimee told her father. ‘I don’t focus on what I’ve lost, I would rather focus on what I’ve gained. I feel like I’ve been blessed.’
She went on: ‘I am blessed to have the opportunity to experience something that not many other people have the chance to experience.
‘I am blessed to have the capacity to share my experience with others and have a chance to improve the quality of someone else’s life. I’m blessed to be different.’
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