Flesh eating bacteria claims more limbs from Georgia student

Family is hopeful that their daughter will survive

WRITTEN BY: Kara Menini
Flesh eating bacteria caused by zip line accident
Image Source: Original uploader was Khaufle at en.wikipedia via WikiCommons
Flesh eating bacteria caused by zip line accident

A flesh eating bacteria has claimed the right leg and possibly the hands of a graduate student from Georgia.

The flesh eating bacteria was contracted after 24-year-old Aimee Copeland suffered a cut on her calf from a zip lining accident along the Little Tallapoosa River near Carrollton, Georgia. The line broke, causing her to fall and receive 22 staples to close the wound.

The flesh eating bacteria went unnoticed and misdiagnosed as Copeland repeatedly went back to the hospital complaining of severe pain. She was given pain killers and antibiotics but was not diagnosed with the rare flesh eating bacteria, aeromonas hydrophila, that caused the infection necrotizing fasciitis. The mortality rate of the infection caused by the flesh eating bacteria is upwards of 60 percent. 

Copeland was transferred to a burn center where the majority of her right leg was amputated. Apparently, the rare flesh eating bacteria necrotizing fasciitis is usually overlooked because the infection starts underneath the surface tissue that appears to be healing normally.

Copeland is listed in critical condition at Doctors Hospital in Augusta, Georgia. Her father describes his daughter’s conditions as “without a doubt the most horrific situation that a parent can possibly imagine,” he wrote on her university blog that “Aimee is awake, understand everything and is nodding her head to questions!” She “is still on her life support, and we are waiting to hear more about how she is doing today.”

Recent reports claim that the flesh eating bacteria infection has spread to Copeland’s remaining foot and hands and that she will lose all of them. Her father went on WSB-TV and said, “I couldn’t conceive of what it would be like for my daughter to lose her hands and the only other foot she has, as well, and that appears to be what is going to happen. The most important thing is my daughter is still alive.”