Flesh-eating disease patient refuses pain medications
Georgia woman stands by her convictions about holistic pain management
A Georgia woman with the flesh-eating virus - both hands amputates, left leg and right foot amputated, is refusing her pain medication. Twenty-four-year-old Aimee Copeland says that due to her graduate-school study of holistic pain management techniques leads her to feel she's a "traitor to her convictions" when she uses drugs to manage her pain, her father Andy Copeland says.
Aimee Copeland developed necrotizing fasciitis after cutting her leg in a fall last month from a homemade zip line over a west Georgia River.
Copeland developed necrotizing fasciitis after cutting her leg in a fall last month from a homemade zip line over a west Georgia River.
Copeland's condition has since been upgraded from critical to serious, "a major victory that cannot and should not be diminished," father Andy Copeland wrote Friday on his blog, where he has been providing regular updates on her medical condition. Aimee Copeland has had her first successful skin graft.
"The area of her wound, which I saw for the first time on Sunday during a dressing change, is massive," her father wrote last week.
"The nurse who completed Aimee's dressing change was astonished at Aimee's insistence to avoid morphine during the procedure, as were her mother and I," he wrote. "I know the pain was significant, but Aimee's courage is greater."
"She occasionally cries from the pain, but she stops because crying hurts her stomach. She says that she feels like a patchwork quilt, because her body is a collection of skin grafts and bandages," Andy Copeland wrote in his Father's Day blog post.
Copeland wants and needs a quiet surrounding, but she also wants her family to remain in the room with her, Copeland wrote. "Much of our time together is spent simply waiting by her side until she expresses a need, which is not a problem for us."That is one of the many roles we have as her parents. Whatever Aimee needs, her mother and I will be there by her side to provide."
The bacteria in the wound releases a toxin that destroys skin, muscle and a layer of tissue below the skin known as fascia, her father says.
Aimee Copeland has crossed several medical milestones in recent weeks. She can breathe on her own, she no longer needs dialysis and she's now able to eat on her own, her father wrote. In addition, her major organs are all functioning well. She still takes supplemental nutrition through a stomach tube.
This weekend, thousands of people are expected at a long-planned fund-raising event outside Atlanta to help the family with medical expenses. The two-day benefit concert in Aimee Copeland's hometown of Snellville begins at 5 p.m. Friday and continues through Saturday night.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Flesh-eating disease, amputations, skin grafts, holisitic pain management, Aimee Copeland
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