Aimee Copeland fought against the odds, continues to improve

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first installment of a 10-part series on the top stories of 2012.

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Aimee Copeland is seen leaving Doctors Hospital for an inpatient rehabilitation clinic in July. She beat a rare skin infection that doctors thought would kill her.  FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Aimee Copeland is seen leaving Doctors Hospital for an inpatient rehabilitation clinic in July. She beat a rare skin infection that doctors thought would kill her.

A 24-year-old Georgia woman attracted nationwide attention when she beat astounding odds by fending off a deadly bacterial infection that attacked her flesh.

For nearly two months, Aimee Copeland, of Snell­ville, Ga., was treated for necrotizing fasciitis at Augusta’s Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital. She contracted the disease May 1 when her leg was gashed as she fell from a zipline that broke over the Little Talla­poosa River.

Doctors initially said Cope­land had little to no chance of surviving. Her left leg, right foot and both hands were amputated.

Copeland’s father, Andy Copeland, said his daughter lives at home and continues physical therapy twice a week at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and enjoys swimming at the Shepherd Center, an Atlanta rehabilitation center.

She is being fitted for a prosthetic leg and could be able to stand by March.

Andy Copeland documented his daughter’s health battle in blog posts and on a Facebook page. Her courage and Christian faith were highlighted as she fought to breathe on her own. That positive attitude hasn’t been beaten yet, he said.

“She knows looking back in the past and wishing things had been different doesn’t help anything,” he said recently.

The University of West Geor­gia graduate student is making plans to finish her thesis by August, her father said.

In Augusta and across Georgia, blood drives were held in Aimee Copeland’s honor. A Run for Aimee 5K raised more than $17,000 for her medical expenses.

Copeland’s father thanked Augusta for its support after the July fundraising run.

“That Augusta has world-class medical facilities and world-class spirituality and compassion is no coin­cidence,” he said in a news release. “I believe that the latter bred the former, and this is the reason Augusta is such a unique and special place.”

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Willow Bailey
Willow Bailey 12/22/12 - 09:30 am
It's really good to get an update on Aimee.

Aimee, your Augusta family loves you and wishes you and your family the Merriest Christmas. May the Lord continue to pour out his love and blessings on you in the coming year. You continue to inspire me and others to look at what we...have.

rmwhitley 12/22/12 - 09:48 am
If everyone

had Ms. Copeland's will and determination, America would still be the greatest country in the world. Sadly, only a few possess her traits. God bless her and her family.

Boston93 12/22/12 - 12:15 pm
Thanks for the update...

She remains in may prayers and it appears that she is one super person that will not give up. Great job Aimee. Your story will remain in hearts all across America. God Bless.

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