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South Gwinnett grad critical after zip-lining accident

A South Gwinnett High School grad has had her leg amputated and remains in critical condition following a zip-lining accident last week in Carrollton.

Aimee Copeland, 24, is a master's student in the University of West Georgia's psychology department. According to updates posted by her father on a website for that school's students, she was zip-lining near Carrollton on May 1 when her line broke and she fell. A trip to a nearby hospital netted 22 staples to her left leg, but she was presumed to be alright.

The rest of the week, however, Copeland continued to return to the hospital with severe pain. On Friday, she was "pale and weak" and carried to the hospital by a friend, according to the posts by her father, Andy Copeland.

An emergency room doctor diagnosed her with necrotizing fasciitis -- a flesh-eating bacteria that can destroy skin, fat and muscle -- in her left leg, hip and thigh. She was life-flighted to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, her father wrote.

Once in Augusta, Copeland's leg was amputated at her hip and skin removed from her abdomen. She went into cardiac arrest but was revived.

Morning morning, Andy Copeland posted that his daughter remained in critical condition but was "responding and making gradual improvement." Doctors are hopeful that "her brain can be saved," he said.

Aimee Copeland is a graduate of South Gwinnett High School and received her bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia in 2010. She is nearing the completion of her master's degree in psychology at the University of West Georgia.

A post on the school's website described her as a "bright star, lover of life, infinitely generous of heart and spirit."

Comments

NewsReader 2 years, 7 months ago

Bless you Aimee! We all hope and pray for you a good outcome to all of this tragedy!

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fhedrick 2 years, 7 months ago

Thoughts and prayers are with you Aimee. Hang in there.

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kayak 2 years, 7 months ago

Wow, what a tragedy. A day of fun has become a desperate fight for survival with huge life-altering changes already in her young life, at the very bloom of her adult life. Will be praying for her survival and recovery. God's ways are not ours!
I wonder, did she 'catch' the bacteria at Tanner Medical in Carrolton where the initial treatment of her injury took place?

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