Flesh-eating bacteria patient returns home to begin new life
Aimee Copeland lost hands, leg and foot to virus, returns home to family
Aimee Copeland lost her hands, leg and foot three months ago to the
flesh-eating virus. She's since returned home to her family to begin her
life anew. When she returns to her parents' home in Snellville,
Georgia, she will live in a new addition to the house that will help her
adapt to her physical limitations.
Aimee Copeland reportedly 'loves' the 1,956-foot wing that was built for her. Builder Pulte Homes says the wing includes a living room, bedroom and bathroom along with a fitness room, sunroom, study room and three outdoor areas.
Aimee reportedly "loves" the 1,956-foot wing that was built for her. Builder Pulte Homes says the wing includes a living room, bedroom and bathroom along with a fitness room, sunroom, study room and three outdoor areas.
The wing also includes access ramps, an elevator, guide rails in the bathroom and a separate wash sink Copeland can use to wash her prosthetics.
Copeland, a 24-year-old University of West Georgia graduate student was on an outdoor excursion with friends in May at the Little Tallapoosa River, about 50 miles west of Atlanta. She fell and got a gash in her leg that required 22 staples to close.
Still in pain three days later, Aimee went to a hospital emergency room. Doctors eventually determined she had necrotizing fasciitis caused by the flesh-devouring bacteria Aeromonas hydrophila. In order to save her life, doctors performed amputations.
She then spent two months in an Augusta, Georgia, hospital before moving to rehab in July.
Working hard on her rehabilitation, Aimee is determined to live as independently as possible. Her tough physical regimen requires 200 crunches in seven minutes, 400 leg lifts in seven minutes, and "an untold number of push-ups and something else that she calls 'planks' and 'sideplanks.'"
Andy Copeland, Aimee's father says she rejected the notion of getting a van with a wheelchair lift. Aimee wanted no part of it, he wrote on his blog. She wants to drive herself around in a Prius.
"The simple fact is that between her ears, Aimee is 100 percent," he wrote. "She knows that she can accomplish anything she wants and that lacking the hands or feet to accomplish such tasks is only a minor inconvenience."
Bacteria in a given environment can cause serious infections can lead to necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh-eating bacteria syndrome. Doctors typically move aggressively to excise even healthy tissue near the infection site in order to make sure no harmful bacteria remains.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the infection attacks and destroys healthy tissue and is fatal about 20 percent of the time.
Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, estimates that fewer than 250 such cases occur each year in the United States, though estimates are imprecise since doctors do not have to report the cases to health authorities.
© 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: Aimee Copeland, flesh-eating virus, rehab, amputations
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