The flesh-eating bacteria that has caused student Aimee Copeland’s life-threatening illness and the eventual amputation of at least one of her limbs may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but doctors working to limit the damage say that the infection was caused by the scarily common Aeromonas hydrophila.
Copeland has been fighting for her life after a zip-lining injury led to to what appeared to be a run of the mill “gash” in her leg. Aimee Copeland ultimately required 22 stitches to close the wound she sustained when the homemade zip line broke and she sliced her leg in the fall, but the nasty bacteria that sickened her quickly overwhelmed her system.
Throughout her ordeal, Aimee Copeland’s dad Andy Copeland has been blogging his daughter’s fight with the illness for well-wishers. Recently, Copeland explained that Aimee was unable to recall the days after her injury as well as some of the subsequent medical interventions, surmising heavy drugs used to sedate his daughter have impeded her memories of the injury and its devastating aftermath:
“They are giving her medication to help her forget the stress she’s under, so that explains her inability to recollect many things. I tell her not to worry. I tell her to concentrate on breathing. I ask her to pray and meditate on healing.”
The elder Copeland has been positive about Aimee’s recovery, writing on his blog:
“The words I hear from the medical professionals to describe Aimee’s continued recovery are ‘astonishing,’ ‘incredible,’ ‘confounding,’ ‘mind boggling’ and ‘unbelievable.’ All those are fitting words. My favorite word is ‘miracle.’”
However, Copeland concedes that there will be rough days for Aimee ahead despite her strong recovery. He explains:
“We have been trying to help Aimee by focusing her away from the negatives of her condition… as wonderful as that moment [when Aimee no longer needs a respirator] will be for us, it will also be the time that Aimee receives all the answers about her condition.”
“She will learn about the loss of her beautiful leg. She will discover that her hands lack the dexterity and tactile response she has known all her life. How would you respond in such a situation? I think that moment will be one of horror and depression for Aimee.”
Aimee Copeland is expected to undergo operations to amputate her fingers when she is well enough to withstand them.