Now Student Losing Hands to Flesh-Eating Infection

But family is optimistic Aimee Copeland will live

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted May 11, 2012 1:36 AM CDT | Updated May 11, 2012 1:47 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Georgia grad student who already lost her left leg to amputation will now lose her hands and her right foot to save her from a flesh-eating infection. Aimee Copeland's life turned into a nightmare after a zip-line cut her calf during a kayaking trip. Shortly afterward she was felled by the often lethal necrotizing fasciitis, likely caused by Aeromonas hydrophila, a bacteria found in fresh water. She's "very responsive" now after a battle for her life, but faces further amputation because the infection has already destroyed more blood vessels, according to a Psychology Department blog at the University of West Georgia, where the 24-year-old grad student was studying.

Her family is hopeful she will survive the devastating bacteria. "Seeing Aimee this morning was so refreshing," her sister, Paige, wrote yesterday on Facebook. "Her eyes are wide open and she is nodding or shaking her head to the questions we ask. My hope for her recovery is stronger than ever!" A "Love Aimee" vigil was held last night on the campus, and students were offering blood at JMS Burn Center in Augusta, where Copeland has been hospitalized since last week, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Aimee Copeland is featured on a homemade get-well card for the grad student who is fighting for her life.
Aimee Copeland is featured on a homemade get-well card for the grad student who is fighting for her life.   (Alessio601589014)
Aimee Copeland, 24, was infected with a flesh-eating bacteria after a homemade zipline cut a gash in her leg.
Aimee Copeland, 24, was infected with a flesh-eating bacteria after a homemade zipline cut a gash in her leg.   (FirstRaceTv)
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