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. veteran

    Can see it now commercial for a cure.Help Ive fallen and Im being eatin up

    May 10, 2012 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
    • silly2

      veteran jerk!

      May 10, 2012 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
    • citizenUSA

      Humor is not for every situation. This is one of them. Way un-cool.

      May 10, 2012 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Wow. You are quite the comedian. Have a little sympathy for pete's sake.

      May 10, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      idiot response.

      May 10, 2012 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
    • You're an idiot

      Have you no decency, fool?

      May 10, 2012 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  2. JuneCleaversBeaver

    That home made zip seemed like fun and games until someone loses a leg.

    May 10, 2012 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. ladydi

    Veteran – your comment doesnt deserve a response.

    May 10, 2012 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
    • realtalker1

      yet you responded?

      May 10, 2012 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. Thenextstep

    What is a zip line ???

    May 10, 2012 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Visitor

      A zip line is, in its simplest form, a cable between two trees, one end higher than the other, and a handle hanging from a pulley that one holds and slides down the inclined cable. Fancier versions have things like harnesses for the users, etc. I've never tried the fancy kind, but thesimple sort - a platform 20 feet up a tree and a line with a T-bar handle to grab - is a whole lot of fun.

      May 10, 2012 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  5. KeepFightingAimee

    Aeromonas hydrophila can be eliminated using one percent sodium hypochlorite solution and two percent calcium hypochlorite solution.

    Antibiotic agents such as chloramphenicol, florenicol, tetracycline, sulfonamide, nitrofuran derivatives, and pyrodinecarboxylic acids are used to eliminate and control the infection of Aeromonas hydrophila.

    May 10, 2012 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      Why don't you rush to the hospital and take charge of the case? Or at least give them a call and tell them what they should be doing?

      Just ignore them when they tell you that you don't know anything about medicine. I'm sure they're wrong about that, too.

      May 10, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
    • D.I.

      Even though that can kill the bacteria, if she stopped breathing once, that means it has entered her blood, unless her body is able to kill it off fast enough, she will die as you cannot injest enough nor put that into your blood and it work... withouth killing you as well.

      May 10, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • chibidw

      Thank you doctor Wikipedia.

      May 10, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Dmc

      I'd like to point out that chloramphenicol is not available in the United States because of a rare, but fatal reaction in which the bone marrow stops producing anything including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Still available in other countries, it probably works well for many bugs since it's lack of overuse has deprived them of any chance to develop resistance.

      May 10, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
    • bedoin by injection

      please pray or think with all of the good people wanting her well. think her name in your mind and push your energy in the geographic direction of where she is.

      May 10, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  6. Diane

    Sending her and her family many thoughts of love and peace with hopes for a miracle...

    May 10, 2012 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  7. Lori

    Prayers and positive thoughts going out to Aimee and her family.

    May 10, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jackie Marlow

    Hate to see this happen to such a hot piece. Never the less, I'd hit it.

    May 10, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • mc

      Wow. Were you born in a ghetto?

      May 10, 2012 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
    • You're an idiot

      Maybe you could find a stray dog?

      May 10, 2012 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. jstanz

    I wouldn't be surprised if she actually picked up that bacteria at the hospital. Hospitals are where most of that come from. I know someone who almost died because of it after picking it up in the hospital during a surgery. Such a shame. Why didn't the hospital prescribe a preventative type of antibiotic when she went to the hospital the first or second time?

    May 10, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • JuneCleaversBeaver

      Gee I am sure the hospital didn't think about giving her an antibiotic the first two times around. Maybe you should volunteer your time to help them think of such things Einstein.

      May 10, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  10. scott

    Good to know a homemade zip line only costs a leg and not an arm as well. Lighten up everyone and go back to your convents and confession booths and pray.

    May 10, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  11. Sylvia

    Most of the comments posted are just disgraceful. What a tragedy this is! We can only hope for a medical miracle. Positive thoughts and prayers go to Aimee and her family. Get well soon, Aimee!

    May 10, 2012 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
    • LJ

      Because people can sit at their computers and anonymously post idiotic comments without anyone knowing who they are...they're never going to go away.

      May 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. freshnewblog

    A flesh eating bug in Georgia?

    May 10, 2012 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • LJ

      You can get that anywhere.

      May 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bubba

    Any deep cut needs to be seen by a doctor immediately, and this is why. Life is a fragile thing, and people die every day; try not to be one of them.

    May 10, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  14. AlienShark

    poor girl. hopefully she can recover and have some sort of decent quality of life after this.

    May 10, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  15. TriXen

    I hope she survives. Too sad. 🙁

    May 10, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
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