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. Eric

    If only she had watched the South Park episode "I should have never gone zip lining" this tragedy could have been avoided. Shame.

    May 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • mac11

      What an A$S7ole you are. That is someone's daughter. You POS.

      May 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kendra

    What do you call a girl with one amputated leg? Peg...

    May 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Loser

    kendra ... what do you call a chick spewing sick jokes? FUNNY!!!

    May 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    Great, a girl is dying and we get second grader jokes from a sociopath. Hilarious.

    May 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jh

    not really a "common" bacteria, it could've been resistant to some antibiotics they tried, and once the infection gets into the bloodstream it's a pain in the butt to treat successfully

    May 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Pete McNeal

    We are all pointing to the zip line accident but there is also a chance she may have contracted the desease at the hospital. I am 100% sure there is more to this story than what's on this article. There is no way anyone including a doctor would assume right away she got that desease! She probably went to the ER or seomthing to treat the wound then went home before falling very ill 24-48 hrs later. I would argue that the odds of her catching this bacteria at the hospital as they were treating her initial wounds is far greater than her contracting it at the time of accident.

    May 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • jrm

      Aeromonas hydrophila is a common water bacterium and infections from it are usually associated with trauma, especially water-contaminated wounds. It is rarely seen in hospital acquired infections. Probably got it during her accident, not from the hospital.

      May 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Really? Mangle your leg in a bacteria-ridden pool of water but the infection occurred in the hospital? Geez.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. DeathComesToUsAll

    She's not dead... she'll live... she may not look the same... but she'll do...

    May 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DeathComesToUsAll

    She probably got this from her mom...

    May 10, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Darwinian Award 2012

    "Aimee", age 24, made a homemade zip line? Why wasn't she working? Don't work? Get a bacterial infection.

    May 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • A

      Turns out some people can do things before/after work or don't work a standard M-F week. I had hobbies while I was working and going to grad school, I'm sure she's capable of the same.

      May 10, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jessie

      Aimee did not make the zip line, it was already there. Also, Aimee has a job as well as a full course load in graduate school. Get a clue.

      May 10, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • LaShawn

      She was just shy of getting her masters degree in psychology to help idiots like you!!!!!! LOSER!!!

      May 11, 2012 at 6:27 am | Report abuse |
  10. docame

    She'll still dance better than Bristol Palin.

    May 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. docame

    Most certainly she'll still think better than Bristol Palin. Almost everyone does.

    May 10, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Eric of Reseda

    What is WITH some of these posters?!? This is a HORRIBLE tragedy, a lingering and painful death, a lingering and painful experience for family and friends. And people are making jokes?!? PLEASE, GOD, IF YOU'RE LISTENING, give thse jokesters just a TASTE of the horror and pain this girl and family are goin gthrough, and then, when said jokesters are in their most needy state, have people treat them, not only with indifference, as amusement. Increasingly typical, too, of young people today to pretend to be unfeeling, cold-blooded, and hard, like so many wanna-be gangsta types, or pseudo-psychos, or whatever. They are in for a TON of pain in life if they keep this nonsense up...

    May 10, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |

      There is no God. Fool. This bacteria thrives in chlorinated pools!! Your GOD made it that way. Happy Camping.

      May 10, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Anomic Office Drone

    Hmm... Maybe we should stop treating everything under the sun with antibiotics.

    May 10, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sal

    There are so many stupid and dumb comments in these blogs! Are Americans just that dumb? It seems that way.....

    May 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sal

    Seems like all these mean comments are coming from mean spirited republicans! 

    May 10, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
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