Father says Copeland suffering 'phantom pain' of missing limbs


Although her condition has improved significantly, Aimee Copeland struggled mightily this past week, her father Andy wrote in a moving update he posted Tuesday on a Facebook page dedicated to her.


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that for a month now, the 24-year-old Snellville native has been battling an aggressive bacterial infection that nearly cost her life. She remains in critical condition in Augusta’s Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital.

The University of West Georgia graduate student was infected after she fell from a homemade zip line May 1 and suffered a major cut to her leg. To save her life, doctors amputated her left leg at the hip, her right foot and her hands.

Andy Copeland has regularly described his family’s ordeal in the blog that has captivated thousands of people around the world.

“Phantom pain now plagues her ‘hands,’” Copeland wrote. “Although she has no hands, her brain is apparently still telling her body that the hands are there.”

Copeland writes that he asked his daughter to describe the pain.

“She told me, ‘It feels like I have been carrying bags of rocks.’ Wow. Imagine carrying bags of rocks for days on end and never being able to release them. ... She said her ‘fingers’ feel contorted and twisted. Nothing really helps her pain much. Some of the pain medication makes her sick to her stomach and she winds up vomiting. Like I said, she has struggled mightily.”