Woman with flesh-eating disease one step closer to rehab - CBS46 News

Woman with flesh-eating disease one step closer to rehab

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Aimee Copeland Aimee Copeland

A woman fighting a flesh-eating bacteria underwent an additional muscle/skin graft on Friday, bringing her one step closer to rehab, according to her father.


Andy Copeland said in a blog post the surgery will bring Aimee Copeland, 24, one step closer to her biggest challenge yet.

"Rehab is where Aimee will regain her independence and learn to function without assistance. Although she is anxious to continue work on her master's thesis, it is more important for Aimee to learn to take care of herself," said Andy Copeland. "This includes transferring from a wheelchair without prostheses as well as learning to use prostheses. This important step in Aimee's recovery process will take months to complete, but I have no doubt that she will give it the same focused effort and determination that she gave to attain an A average throughout her master's program – the same effort that, thanks to God's help, has allowed her to recover to her current condition."

Aimee developed necrotizing fasciitis after cutting her leg in a fall May 1 from a homemade zip line. Her left leg, other foot and both hands have been amputated.

Andy Copeland also said Aimee is refusing to take pain medications during some procedures, partly because of her personal convictions.

Andy Copeland said his daughter despises the use of morphine in her treatment, despite its effectiveness at blocking her pain.

Her graduate-school study of holistic pain management techniques leads her to feel she's a "traitor to her convictions" when she uses drugs to manage her pain, according to Andy Copeland.

He said morphine has been making Aimee groggy, confused and has given her unpleasant hallucinatory episodes.

Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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