Flesh-Eating Disease Victim Hopeful On Fighting Bacteria

05/14/2012 07:49 AM ET

Aimee Copeland, 24, is a Georgia grad student who lost her leg to a flesh-eating disease and contracted the bacteria after a freak zip-line accident, but she is making an “astonishing” recovery, her father said.

However, she is still in critical condition at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, but her father, Andy, said doctors may not have to amputate her hands and other foot, as they feared last week.

“Yesterday doctors revealed that they are continuing to examine Aimee’s hands and foot. It appears that they may be able to save more of her extensions than they originally thought,” Copeland wrote Saturday on a blog he has been keeping about his daughter’s brave battle.

Aimee Copeland, of Snellville, was kayaking with pals on the Little Tallapoosa River on May 1 when the group went zip-lining across a homemade rope.

The rope snapped while she was on it, and she fell and cut her calf.

Doctors said a bacteria — called Aeromonas hydrophila — entered the gash from the water, triggering a flesh eating disease that can eat through muscle.

The disease, necrotizing fasciitis, is usually not deadly.

But, in Aimee’s case, a “perfect storm of bad circumstances” caused the condition to be life-threatening, doctors told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Aimee had her left leg amputated at the hip on May 4th and was put on life support after going into cardiac arrest.

She regained consciousness on Friday enough to mouth the words, “Where am I?” her father wrote on the blog, which is on a site run by the University of West Georgia, where Aimee is getting a master’s in psychology.

On Saturday, he wrote that doctors described her progress as “a miracle.”

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