Flesh-eating bacteria takes woman’s leg

Posted at 6:57 PM, May 11, 2012
and last updated 2012-05-11 19:15:39-04

CARROLLTON, Ga. (WTVR) – A Georgia woman is in critical condition as her body works to fight off a flesh-eating bacteria.

Aimee Copeland, 24, cut her leg during a zip-line accident on May 1 as she and her friends kayaked along the Little Tallapoosa River in Carrollton, Ga.

Officials said Friday that Copeland was listed in critical condition at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital in Augusta, Ga.

The University of West Georgia graduate psychology student was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, an infection that destroys human tissue.

She has already lost most of her right leg to the infection and her family says doctors will likely have to amputate her left foot, and her hands because the infection has spread.

Copeland’s father says thousands of people from around the world have reached out to the family, offering their prayers.

Copeland’s father says he has not told Aimee about the potential for future amputations yet. He says his daughter is improving, and that she has been coherent and alert.

Aimee’s father Andy also gave an update on his daughter’s condition Friday morning in a blog on the University of West Georgia Psychology department student website:

“Aimee is alert and trying to mouth questions. Her breathing tube has been reoriented to increase her comfort and allow them to try to read her lips,” Andy wrote. “She said: ‘I can’t talk!’ We told her it was because of the tube, and we explained the need for it. ‘Take it out!’ She also asked ‘what happened?’ and ‘where am I?'”

“I thought it would be better when she became alert, but it is actually harder for us,” he wrote.