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. Walter

    To the reporter - aeromonas is not capitalized. It is a bacteria. An animal. A living thing. Would you capitalize "lion" in that same sentence?

    "She was bitten by a Lion."

    Come on.

    May 11, 2012 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      You are wrong and go nit pick somewhere else.

      May 11, 2012 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
    • chas2369

      Actually, it is appropriate for Aeromonas to be capitalized as it is the genus of a particular species. Using this example, "bacteria" would be the analog to lion, which has the taxonomic name of Panthera leo, in that it is a generic, common name.

      May 11, 2012 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      Please, the girl is fighting for her life, facing multiple amputations, and you're worried about a letter?

      May 11, 2012 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Nope

      It is capitallized because it's part of the scientific name. Bacteria is plural so that means a "bacterium" not a "bacteria". Bacteria are not animals. They are prokaryotes.

      May 11, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Seriously? You need to cheer's Friday! Go eat a cookie or something.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
    • HEH?

      WhO tHe EFF cArEs graMMar naZi. GeT A Life...

      May 11, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • sf

      @Walter: Actually, Aeromonas hydrophila is the scietific name of the bacteria (Genus species). The Genus is always capitalized in a scientific name.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      Scientific nomenclature! Aeromonas hydrophila is correct, but needs to be italicized. Do your homework.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Rachel

      Actually you would. It's a scientific name and it should also be italicized. You analogy would be correct if it was a common name.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • ap

      Dear Walter,

      Actually, the reporter used correct nomenclature. You capitalize the genus. The only error was to not italicize the whole name. Lion would be "Panthera leo".

      May 11, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. Boot

    Aeromonas should be capitalized. It's a genus name. By convention genus names are capitalized and the species name (hydrophila) is not. A common name is not capitalized.

    May 11, 2012 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. Luigi

    This is a Zip line it consists of a pulley suspended on a cable mounted on an incline. It is designed to enable a user propelled by gravity to travel from the top to the bottom of the inclined cable, usually made of stainless steel, by holding on or attaching to the freely moving pulley. Zip-lines come in many forms, most often used as a means of entertainment

    May 11, 2012 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
    • drew716

      Thanks Mr Wikipedia

      May 11, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Jean-Marc

      I don't think zip in zip line should be capitalized.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. JFC

    Seriously this is the most awful sounding thing I've ever read. Poor girl :[[

    May 11, 2012 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. momo0828

    The sign of Apocalypse is upon us: folks are more concerned with the mind numbing details of the bacteria that may kill this child as opposed to giving condolences to a father and mother who are about to lose their child with Mother’s day just around the corner . God bless her soul.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. Edward

    It's Bush's fault.... re. the flesh eating bacteria, AND the capitalization issue.

    May 11, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. Spokker

    I want to thank the poster who corrected the other poster on the use of capitalization in the story.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Miss Y

      Spokker – I'm glad you spoke up. I want to thank you for expressing appreciation to the poster who corrected the other poster on the use of capitalization. Sometimes we lose track of what's important. (I wonder how many maroons out there would have thought I'm serious, and earnestly explained that the story about the young woman who has lost her limbs is much more important, and serious, than grammar and punctuation.)

      May 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jeff

    Unlike all of these other distracted petty posters, I just want to say to Aimee; "Hang in there, I am and the rest of my Marine buddies are pulling for you!"

    May 11, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. Joeblow

    As much as I loathe fact staters who feel the need to share what they learned on jeapardy yesterday, you can contract MRSA through any open sore, bite, whatever on your body Rhonda. Love, your neighborhood Med Tech.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  10. Shneeky

    I like donuts without holes – I don't know why, they just taste better.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  11. Eddy

    Stories like this make my problems seem small in comparison.

    I wish her the best!

    May 11, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. Vic

    She fell, got a scratch that was in contact with the ground that contained this cursed bacteria? Is this how the bacteria got in her leg? Good thoughts and well wishes to the girl and her family.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jason

    Wow, gangrene… how retro and tragic.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  14. Hope

    I hope she gets better. this is a terrible thing to endure for her and her family. Our prayers are with you.

    May 11, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  15. Science101

    It's a virus...

    May 11, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • sam

      It's a bacterium. Don't worry, you'll get past 101 some day.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
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