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Copeland gets voice-controlled iPhone, completes first day of rehab

In this photo provided by Andy Copeland, Aimee Copeland leaves a hospital in Augusta Ga., Monday, July 2, 2012, headed for an inpatient rehabilitation clinic. Copeland left a Georgia hospital just weeks after a flesh-eating disease took her limbs but not her life. After nearly two months of battling the rare infection, called necrotizing fasciitis, Copeland headed to an inpatient rehabilitation clinic, where sheill learn to use a wheelchair after having her left leg, right foot and both hands amputated. (AP Photo/Courtesy Andy Copeland)

In this photo provided by Andy Copeland, Aimee Copeland leaves a hospital in Augusta Ga., Monday, July 2, 2012, headed for an inpatient rehabilitation clinic. Copeland left a Georgia hospital just weeks after a flesh-eating disease took her limbs but not her life. After nearly two months of battling the rare infection, called necrotizing fasciitis, Copeland headed to an inpatient rehabilitation clinic, where sheill learn to use a wheelchair after having her left leg, right foot and both hands amputated. (AP Photo/Courtesy Andy Copeland)

This week has been a big one for Aimee Copeland.

On Monday, the 24-year-old South Gwinnett grad left the Augusta hospital she'd been at since early May while recovering from a rare flesh-eating bacteria. On Thursday, she completed her first full day of rehab at a new inpatient facility, where she'll learn how to function without the hands, left leg and right foot that were amputated.

Her family is also in the process of finalizing an agreement for the free-of-charge addition of a two-story "Aimee Wing" to their Snellville home.

The biggest change, though, may be the recent introduction of a new friend named Siri.

Thanks to a little contract wiggle room granted by Verizon, Copeland now has an iPhone 4 complete with the voice control system called Siri. It's already making her life -- and contact with friends -- significantly easier, her father said Friday.

"It's really big for her because she loves her autonomy," Andy Copeland told the Daily Post. "This gives her the ability to do a lot of things with her phone that she was previously unable to do."

Copeland can now talk to her phone and have it text message or call without having to use the touch screen. Andy Copeland said he's working on adding a bluetooth connection to give her complete voice control.

Aside from getting her new phone, Aimee completed her first full day of rehab Thursday.

"She was slam worn out," her father said.

The current stretch of rehab -- at a facility closer to the Copelands' home, the location of which has not be disclosed -- will eventually lead to the use of prosthetics. In six to eight weeks, Aimee will move back home.

There's a lot of work to be done before then.

Andy Copeland said Friday that the family was in the process of finalizing an agreement with a major American home builder. That company has agreed to build a two-story addition, the so-called "Aimee Wing," for free.

Because the contract has not be finalized, Andy Copeland declined to name the company.

Aimee Copeland weighed in on the new wing, designed by Norcross architect Rob Ponder. It will include a bedroom, bathroom, sun room, elevator, a study (where she can continue work on her masters thesis in psychology) and a fitness room (where she can do yoga and practice walking with prosthetics).

Ponder couldn't be reached for comment Friday.

Ground is scheduled to be broken on July 16, and expected to be knocked out in 38 days. That would put completion on about Aug. 23, seven days before what would be Aimee's eight-week mark in rehab, Andy Copeland said.

The Copelands will have to pay for an elevator, but, thanks to donated services by the home builder and Home Depot, that might be it.

"The elevator will not be covered, but that's OK," Copeland said. "We've had some generous gifts that I think will allow us to be able to pay for the elevator."