Aimee Copeland, the 24-year-old Georgia woman who has battled a flesh-eating bacteria for the past two months, was released from a hospital Monday.
Copeland, who lost her left leg, right foot and both hands to the rare infection, called necrotizing fasciitis, will move to an inpatient rehabilitation clinic where she will spend the next several weeks learning to move herself using a wheelchair.
“Aimee is very anxious to begin rehabilitation and learn to function more independently,” said Aimee’s father Andy Copeland. “This next step is her opportunity to go (to) the next phase and learn something, be able to rehabilitate and basically relearn her life skills. She needs to be able to develop the autonomy to be able to transfer from her bed to a wheelchair to the shower to the bathroom or anywhere else in the house. And she can do it.”
Copeland’s ordeal began May 1 when she was riding a zip-line across the Little Tallapoosa River, about 50 miles west of Atlanta. The line snapped, and she fell and suffered a deep gash in her left calf that took 22 staples to close.
After complaining of intense pain several days after her wound was stitched up, Copleand was brought back to the hospital where doctors determined she had the rare flesh eating disease caused by the bacteria Aeromonas hydrophila.
According to ABC News, Copeland’s speedy recovery has defied doctors’ initial prognosis. Her father has said previously that at first, doctors gave her little chance of survival. Aimee Copeland was sedated for weeks, breathing on a respirator while she underwent amputations and skin grafts as part of her recovery.
A week ago, hospital officials upgraded Copeland’s condition from serious to good. Her parents last weekend were able to take her outside the hospital’s doors in her wheelchair — her first time outdoors since she arrived at the hospital in May.
In an interview on CNN on Wednesday, Aimee Copeland’s family said they plan to build an addition to their Snellville home that has one floor to accommodate all of her needs by the time she returns home.
via USA Today