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. MymanDarwin

    This is just Natural Selection at work. I put emphasis on the "homemade" part of the zipline experience that caused this problem with her. There are lots of "homemade" items I will pie for example....but never would homemade zip line sound like a good idea. Much like homemade bungee jumping and homemade river rafting.

    She made the choice to "live dangerously". Now she is where she is at.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  2. MymanDarwin

    I lulz'd!

    May 11, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. sam

    Most probably they have the sense to not use a homemade zip line.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  4. HomeMadeDarwinianAward2012

    "And the 2012 Darwinian Award for best homemade zip-line goes to... Peg..."

    May 11, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  5. LegitimateQuestion

    Could she have undiagnosed HIV, now manifested as MRSA?

    May 11, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • conrad

      A previous poster who claimed to know her said she has Lupus – which is also an immune disorder. However, apparently people without immune disorders get this infection as well though maybe not as frequently(?).

      May 11, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. HelpMe

    What's a homemade zip line? I'd like to make one.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  7. What

    "her hands and her remaining foot also will have to be amputated. But he said she was showing improvement..." Huh?

    May 11, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. BrightSide

    Look at it this way... Peg could have broken her neck when the homemade zip line failed. At least she can move her stumps.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  9. 1000WaysToDie

    This belongs on "1000 ways to die"... Peg made a homemade zip line... it didn't work... she died...

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

    Guarantee you she picked up the bug at the hospital.

    May 11, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • conrad

      It's a bacteria called Aeromonas hydrophila. The hydrophila part suggests it's waterborne and that it came from the water she fell into after the zip line broke.

      Hydro = water. Though its true that hospitals can harbor other types of dangerous bacteria.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Theory

    Maybe she's better off dead... poor thing... what kind of life will she have now... without limbs... so sad... Who will love her?

    May 11, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • conrad

      You may still be quite young or maybe you were raised by very critical parents, so you don't know yet that it is possible to love people for reasons other than how they look. And a persons value is intrinsic ... meaning it isn't lost or damaged just because they are ugly, unintelligent, maimed, or even dead. People by the nature of their very existence are worthy of love.

      May 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |

    It wasn't the homemade zip line that killed her... it was the virus!

    May 11, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  13. BeefQuestion

    Can you get this virus from eating beef?

    May 11, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  14. Goodluck

    At least her heart is still beating...

    May 11, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  15. eHarmony

    eHarmony is always an option for her...

    May 11, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
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