May 10th, 2012
07:22 AM ET

Student fights flesh-eating bacteria after zip line fall

[Updated at 3:57 p.m. ET] A University of West Georgia graduate psychology student is fighting for her life with flesh-eating bacteria after falling off a homemade zip line and cutting her leg, CNN affiliates WSB report and WXIA report.

Aimee Copeland, 24, fell off a homemade zip line near a friend’s home in Carroll County, Georgia, on May 1. Doctors at a hospital in Augusta were forced to amputate most of her right leg on Friday after the bacteria destroyed her leg muscles and moved into other parts of her body. She stopped breathing and at one point and had to be resuscitated, her father, Andy Copeland, told WSB.

On Thursday, Andy Copeland told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that her hands and her remaining foot also will have to be amputated.

But he said she was showing improvement at a hospital in Augusta and was "extremely responsive, coherent and alert" on Thursday, the AJC reported.

The AJC reported that Copeland contracted Aeromonas hydrophila in the deep gash in her leg after the zip line broke.

Filed under: Georgia • Health
soundoff (336 Responses)
  1. t bone

    If only she would have known we r all covered in mrsa and that she had h.i.v. And lupus beforehand she probably would have insisted on a store bought ZIPline instead of a homemade ZIPline. welp, live n learn. i betcha she wont make that mistake again. i crashed my homemade ZIPline and all i got was this stupid T shirt!

    May 11, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • alex

      that wasn't funny.

      not in the way of being offensive or too edgy or anything. it just was not funny. you failed to convey the sensation known as humor.

      also, double fail for your double post.

      better luck next time junior!

      May 21, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Myto Senseworth

    I feel for the girl. Like I keep saying, medical science will probably be the cause for the fall of the human race.

    May 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Myto Senseworth

    Why are they killing us? Antibiotics over use training bacteria how to kill us, drugs with dangerious side effects to include birth defects are just a couple of the wonderful things that medical science has provided for us.
    I will give a thumbs up for inumization.

    May 11, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Segundoo

      I am a physician. Aeromonas hydrophila is a very rare bacteria to infect a wound. People complain about over use of antibiotics. In this case, before the "bug" could be identified so the proper antibiotics could be prescribed the bacteria has done its damage. Bacteria cultures take days. Just giving blind antibiotics to treat an infection does not always work. This case is tragic and it always saddens me when things like this happen.

      May 12, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Julie

    What a horror for this young woman.
    Having worked in a medical ancillary profession at a major hospital, Ive seen many MRSA infections – but never one of these that required such terrible amputations.
    I wonder if it's known where the infection occurred – from the accident itself or the hospital. It's also disturbing how seemingly random catastrophic infections like the one this woman has are. most people come through such an infection with some scars and a bad scare – others get the works.
    There needs to be tight controls placed on the use of antibiotics – maybe we need to begin treating them with the same strictness as are opiates. Use of antibacterials in soaps and cleaning fluids could also be made. The potential risks of these things may be on the verge of outweighing their benefits.

    My heart goes out to this woman – such terrible loss from such an innocent accident. May she do well – and on the bright side – she's chosen a profession that is more cerebral than physical – she can still do great things with her life.

    May 11, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mary Olano

    A year ago, I was fighting for my life with this same bacteria. I lost my left breast and a hugh amount of my left torso. It was under my arm but my wonderful doctors at Vanderbilt saved my arm. I got to come home after 2 1/2 months and am now waiting for a couple of more surgeries. Blessed and very lucky to be here. My prayers go out to this girl because it is life changing.

    May 12, 2012 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. Melissa

    I read somewhere that she was diagnosed with Lupus a couple of months ago, so i am guessing that of course isn't helping the situation. I am praying that my fellow college campus mate pulls through!

    May 12, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kathleen

    Has MRSA contracted from the hospital emergency room been ruled out?

    May 13, 2012 at 4:11 am | Report abuse |
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    May 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. irrelevent

    i guess when it comes to having fun, she doesnt have a leg to stand on. oh im terrible

    June 7, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
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