Aimee Copeland, the Georgia Master's student who found herself plagued by necrotizing fasciitis following a zip line accident, is heading home from the hospital soon. This is great news, especially for a person whose recovery was called "mind-boggling."
Copeland (pictured here in a blurry cell phone pic) drew attention for the rarity of her case — flesh-eating bacteria happens to about 750 people each year, and her particular strain is even rarer. Copeland has lost her left leg, right foot, and both hands. And she's been remarkably zen about the whole thing, refusing morphine for the pain.
Before she returns home, Copeland is spending six weeks at an inpatient rehabilitation facility, so that she can learn to use a wheelchair and her new prosthetic limbs. Meanwhile, her childhood home is being renovated to accommodate her recovery. Her father Andy Copeland says they are building an "Aimee wing."
The addition's modifications will include an elevator to move between the stories, and a fitness room for physical rehabilitation. The key is letting Copeland be self-sufficient, as Dr. Albert Esquenazi explains.
The first step is to provide patients with self independence. She has the advantage that she's a young woman, and from what I understand a very determined young woman. She also appears to have a very supportive environment, between her family, her friends and her community.
Meanwhile, Andy Copeland's faith remains unshaken. Two months ago he called her survival "miraculous." Now, when speaking about the house reconstruction, he says, "God is opening doors to make it happen."
It's probably worth noting that a local architect and other neighbors are doing their part, too.
[Image via AP/Tom Adkins]