Aimee Copeland leaves Doctors Hospital

Aimee Copeland left the Au­gusta hospital Monday morning where she had been treated since early May for a life-threatening disease.


Barclay Bishop, a spokeswoman for Doctors Hospital, confirmed that Copeland was discharged from the Joseph M. Still Burn Center. She could not provide any more information.

Copeland’s father, Andy, said last week that the 24-year-old graduate student at the Uni­ver­si­ty of West Georgia will move to an inpatient rehabilitation clinic in metro Atlanta. Cope­land’s left leg, right foot and both hands were amputated.

“She’s a very determined young lady,” Andy Copeland told The Asso­ciated Press moments after his daughter left with her mother in an ambulance. “When she sets her mind on something, she achieves it.”

The Snellville, Ga., woman became infected with a bacteria that attacks the flesh after cutting her leg open during a May 1 zip-lining accident.

Doctors gave her little chance of surviving when she was admitted. She spent weeks sedated and breathing on a respirator while undergoing amputations and skin grafts to replace large patches of infected skin.

Leaving Monday was a bittersweet farewell.

“She hated to see a lot of people she loves, to say goodbye,” her father said. “The sweet is that she is moving on to the next phase.”

Copeland’s mother arrived at the hospital early to help her get ready for the big day and did her makeup for her, her father said.

Copeland will spend the next several weeks learning to use a wheelchair, then she is expected to be fitted with prosthetic limbs.

Her father said she is looking forward to using prosthetic limbs.

“Her chances, when it comes to rehab, everything you get out of it is a direct reflection of what you put in,” he said. “She looks at challenges as an opportunity, a chance to make a difference in her own life and in others. I know she is going to put in incredible effort to make sure it’s the best possible experience she can have.”

The ambulance crew transporting Copeland had a chance to see some of that attitude. Tom Adkins, the president of Capital City Ambulance, said he was moved by her “unbelievable spirit.”

“She’s got a dynamite personality,” said Adkins. “If you were not able to visualize her, there would be no way to know that she has been through this kind of experience. She will be an inspiration to people around the world.”

A 5K race and auction in Au­gusta on Saturday raised more than $10,000 to help the family with expenses.

A Facebook post on a page dedicated to Copeland that her father frequently writes on thanked supporters Monday afternoon. The post said Copeland is focused on finishing her thesis and graduating.

“This young woman is a true testament of will and determination,” the post said.

Associated Press reports were used in this article.

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Topic Page: Aimee Copeland