Ga. Woman Who Had Flesh-Eating Illness Tells Story
NEW YORK - A Georgia woman who survived a rare fleshing-eating disease told Katie Couric on Tuesday that she doesn’t take life for granted anymore.
Aimee Copeland, a 24-year-old University of West Georgia graduate student, walked onto stage Tuesday on Couric’s new show, "Katie," using a walker she’d gotten just five days earlier and a prosthetic leg. As she made her way slowly across the stage to a chair, Couric and the studio audience stood and applauded.
"You did it," Couric said as she bent down to hug Copeland as she sat in the chair. "That was a beautiful sight to see, Aimee Copeland."
"It felt pretty good, too," Copeland said, flashing a giant grin.
Aimee Copeland contracted the rare infection, called necrotizing fasciitis, in May after falling from a zip line and gashing her leg. Early on, she was fighting for her life, with doctors uncertain she would survive.
The disease forced doctors to amputate both of her hands, her left leg and her right foot. She spent two months this summer at the Shepherd Center, a rehabilitation clinic in Atlanta, learning to move, eat and bathe without prosthetics.
She has been fitted with prosthetics for her right leg and will be fitted for one for her left leg, which is still sore and tender from skin grafts, she said. She also has hooks she can use as hands and prosthetic wheelchair arms to help her get around, but she said she likes to do as much as she can with the remains of her limbs.
Though her recovery was long and difficult, Copeland said she never felt like giving up. Now she even wants to learn to drive again.