Student With Flesh-Eating Bacteria Leaves Hospital

Aimee Copeland defies doctors' expectations, heads to rehab
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 2, 2012 9:51 AM CDT
Student With Flesh-Eating Bacteria Leaves Hospital
This undated photo shows Aimee Copeland, the 24-year-old Georgia graduate student fighting to survive a flesh-eating bacterial infection.   (AP Photo/Copeland Family)

Aimee Copeland, the woman diagnosed with a rare, flesh-eating disease, left the hospital today after nearly two months and headed to an inpatient rehabilitation clinic, where she'll learn to move with the aid of a wheelchair after having her left leg, right foot, and both hands amputated. Copeland's speedy recovery has defied the initial prognosis of doctors, who at first gave her just a slim chance of surviving after being diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis. She spent weeks sedated and breathing on a respirator while undergoing amputations and skin grafts.

After she learns to move herself with a wheelchair, Copeland will move on to another round of therapy in which she'll learn to use prosthetic limbs. "She's a very determined young lady," says dad Andy Copeland. The 24-year-old hopes to use any spare time to work on her graduate thesis in psychology. Her father said her goal is to graduate from the University of West Georgia in December. (More Aimee Copeland stories.)

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