Flesh-eating victim released from hospital: ‘I feel like I’ve been blessed’

Dylan Stableford
The Lookout

Aimee Copeland—a 24-year-old Georgia woman who has spent more than two months recovering after contracting a rare flesh-eating bacteria in a zip line accident—has been released from the hospital, officials at Doctors Hospital in Augusta said Monday.

Copeland, who had one of her legs and most of both hands amputated and endured multiple skin grafts while fighting the Aeromonas hydrophila bacteria, will now spend the next several weeks in a rehab facility, her father, Andy Copeland, said.

The original gash on Copeland's leg took 20 staples to close; the bacteria, doctors say, came from the Little Tallapoosa River where she fell on May 1.

"This next step is her opportunity to go to the next phase and learn something, be able to rehabilitate and basically relearn her life skills," Andy Copeland told CNN. "She needs to be able to develop the autonomy to be able to transfer from her bed to a wheelchair to the shower to the bathroom or anywhere else in the house. And she can do it."

Last week, Copeland was able to leave her hospital room in a wheelchair for the first time.

Andy Copeland—who has been blogging about his daughter's progress—wrote that he asked her how she felt about the ordeal.

"I don't have any regrets about what has happened," she said, according to her father. "I don't focus on what I've lost, I would rather focus on what I've gained. I feel like I've been blessed."