A 24-year-old woman in a hospital bed fighting off flesh-eating bacteria has to be told repeatedly - each time she wakes up - what has happened, her parents told CNN on Monday.
The medication Aimee Copeland is given leads her to forget each time she falls asleep.
"It's scary to her," said her mother, Donna Copeland. She asks where she is and "doesn't understand."
Yet Aimee Copeland - who has lost a leg and part of her abdomen to the virulent bacteria and may lose more, including her fingers - is keeping her spirits strong, her father said.
"We really don't see the suffering side of it. We see the miraculous survival," Andy Copeland said. "I think that's the story that's inspired us, that's the story that's inspired, I think, the nation at this point."
On Facebook, he wrote that doctors have used words like "astonishing," "confounding" and "mind-boggling" to describe the young woman's recovery.
The master's student in psychology at the University of West Georgia was out with friends on May 1 near the Little Tallapoosa River, about 50 miles west of Atlanta, when she grabbed onto a homemade zip line. It snapped.
The accident left her with a gash in her left calf that took 22 staples to close.
Three days later, when the pain continued, a friend took her to an emergency room, where she was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis and flown to Augusta for surgery.
She had contracted the flesh-devouring Aeromonas hydrophila. The bacterium is "remarkably common in the water and in the environment," according to Dr. Buddy Creech, an assistant professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University.
"When it gets into those deeper tissues, it has a remarkable ability to destroy the tissues that surround it in sort of this hunt for nutrition," he said. "When it does that, those tissues die, and you see the inflammation and the swelling and the destruction that can be very difficult to control."