Aimee Copeland walked onto the set of Katie Couric’s new show Katie to a standing ovation. The young woman who lost both her hands, feet, and all of her left leg to flesh-eating bacteria earlier this year, made her public debut as she slowly walked onto the set.
Copeland smiled as she slowly struggled toward Couric with the aid of a prosthetic foot and a walker, reports Yahoo!. To see her struggling, but bravely walking unassisted brought Couric near tears.
Despite all she has been through Copeland quickly rejected the question by Couric about whether she felt like dying during her struggle to live and recover. Copeland replied by saying:
“I love life. It’s a beautiful thing… even more so now. Senses are so deepened. Everything smells better. Everything is more vibrant, more beautiful.”
Aimee Copeland, 24, cut her left leg after falling from a zip line near the Tallapoosa River almost four months ago. The grad student knew days later that something was wrong, because the pain went up to her thigh. The bacteria advanced until, as Copeland stated:
“My entire leg was a dark purple color. I wasn’t able to walk. I wasn’t able to speak. The only thing I was able to babble was, ‘I think I’m dying.'”
Doctors were forced to amputate the young woman’s leg from the hip, as well as her right foot, which had also become infected. Later, when her hands turned red and black, doctors had to amputate them as well. Copeland stated:
“I think the most extreme moment was when my dad lifted up my hands for me to see, and my fingers were black and my hands were a deep, blood red. I said, ‘Let’s do this.’ I mean, what else are you going to do? Live with some dead hands?”
ABC Local notes that Aimee Copeland has been fitted with prosthetics for her right leg, which enabled her to walk on stage to visit with Katie Couric on Tuesday. She will be fitted for one for her left leg, but for now it is still sore and tender from skin grafts. The 24-year-old also has hooks she can use for hands, as well as prosthetic wheelchair arms to help her be mobile, but she prefers to do as much as she can with what remains of her arms and legs.
Despite a long and difficult recovery, Copeland states she never wanted to give up. She even has her sights set on driving again. Copeland stated:
“I love life. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s something I don’t take for granted anymore.”
Katie Couric even surprised Copeland with something that would help her learn to drive again — a new minivan retrofitted so that the 24-year-old can drive it. An Atlanta area Chevrolet dealer appeared in the studio to present her with the new vehicle, saying that he wanted her to have a chance at being a normal 24-year-old.
Check out the video below to see Aimee Copeland on Katie Couric’s new talk show: