The 24-year-old woman fighting a flesh-eating bacteria at an Augusta hospital learned Thursday that she needs more amputations to aid her recovery.
Aimee Copeland’s father, Andy Copeland, said doctors recommended that she lose her hands and remaining foot because of the added risk of infection, according to an update posted Friday morning on a Facebook page dedicated to the young woman.
In the Facebook post, Copeland said he and his wife explained to their daughter that she would need the amputations.
“Aimee, I do not want anything to happen to you. Your mind is beautiful, your heart is good and your spirit is strong. These hands can prevent your recovery from moving forward,” Copeland said on the Facebook post.
After carefully examining her hands, Aimee Copeland mouthed three words understood by her family: “Let’s do this.”
“Aimee shed no tears, she never batted an eyelash. I was crying because I am a proud father of an incredibly courageous young lady,” her father said.
Aimee Copeland, of Snellville, Ga., contracted the flesh-eating infection May 1 when she gashed her leg after falling from a homemade zipline that broke over the Little Tallapoosa River.
Doctors at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital amputated her left leg. She is still listed in critical condition at the hospital.
Members of Atlanta-area Rotary Clubs who traveled to Augusta to donate blood in her honor Friday said they learned about the updated condition on their bus trip.
“Our heart just goes out to Andy and the family,” said Barbara Myers, a member of the Rotary Club of South Gwinnett County, of which Andy Copeland is a member.
Eleven Rotarians donated at Shepeard Community Blood Center on Wrightsboro Road. The South Gwinnett club has organized a blood drive Monday at First Baptist Snellville. More than 220 people were registered on Thursday afternoon for the drive that can receive 300 blood donations, Myers said.
Louis Young, of Lilburn, Ga., and a member of the South Gwinnett County Club, donated blood for the first time in about 10 years Friday. With childrenabout Copeland’s age, Young said the young woman’s need for blood brought him back to donating.
“I never understood the need for constant blood donations to serve a hospital like the one Aimee’s in,” Young said. “Knowing what I know now about the real need, that changes my whole perspective.”
Blood donations at Shepeard cannot be designated for Copeland, but they will help the blood center keep a stable supply, spokeswoman Claire Rossie said.
“We are asking for all blood types because the Copelands wanted to help other families at the local burn center and other hospitals. They know it’s not just her that needs it but other families as well.”
McDuffie County School Superintendent Jim LeBrun, a member of the Thomson Rotary Club, donated blood on Friday in honor of Copeland.
“Anytime we can help a fellow Rotary brother out in a time of crisis we definitely want to step up to the plate,” he said.