The zip-line injury that struck down a college student and severely threatened her prospects of survival seems to be survivable after all, but victim Aimee Copeland’s dad says that his daughter is likely to lose more limbs before the ordeal is over.
What happened to Copeland is scary in its innocuousness- the 24-year-old grad student was out kayaking with friends and used a homemade zip-line (one of those things where you hang on a wheeled contraption and slide down a rope) when at some point during the process, she sustained a “gash” on her leg.
But the zip-line injury didn’t just get infected and land Aimee in the hospital- instead, she came down with necrotizing fasciitis, also known as the flesh-eating bacteria. The often-fatal infection is difficult for doctors to treat, and when it can be stopped, the damage it causes is frequently devastating.
Initially, doctors and her family believed Copeland wouldn’t survive the zip-line injury, and the student lost a leg and part of her abdomen already in an attempt by docs to halt the deadly infection’s spread.
And while it is likely that doctors will have to further amputate her limbs- her dad says that Copeland’s hands already “appear mummified”- the student’s father is cautiously optimistic that she will recover fully:
“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.”
“We want to think that way, but it can just change. It’s like a rollercoaster every day.”
Aimee Copeland’s friends and family have also been raising money and awareness about the dangers of necrotizing fasciitis (the student was originally sent home with antibiotics and painkillers) after the student’s devastating zip-line injury.