Aimee Copeland, the 24 year-old college student who contracted necrotizing fasciitis following an accident on a homemade zip line, has finally been released from the hospital after months of treatment. However, according to her father, Copeland isn’t headed for home just yet. Instead, she’s scheduled to spend several weeks at a rehabilitation facility, where she will learn how to navigate the world in a wheelchair.
Copeland, who spent two-month fighting for her life at Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital in Augusta, Georgia, lost her left leg, right foot, and both hands after contracting the deadly disease. However, despite these loses, Copeland remains positive about her life, especially after doctors originally predicted a grim outcome for the twenty year-old.
Although Copeland has struggled to stay alive over the past few months, there’s still quite a bit of hard work ahead. “The first step is to provide patients with self independence. Right now, someone has to feed her, help her with hygiene, turn on lights, open doors. But some simple devices can help her do these things herself,” Dr. Alberto Esquenazi, chief medical officer of MossRehab in Philadelphia, explained to ABC News.
The ultimate goal of this strenuous rehabilitation is to prepare Copeland’s body for prosthetics. According to Esquenazi, her skin should heal enough over the next few weeks for doctors to take the next step. Her father, Andy Copeland, believes that his daughter is up for the challenge, which will also include graduating from the University of West Georgia this year.
“And she feels the challenge will create a tremendous opportunity not just for her to learn more and to gain more from this but to learn more that she can use to help others along the way,” he said to Good Morning America.