This is Aimee Copeland, a 24-year-old psychology graduate student at the University of West Georgia.
On May 1, Copeland fell from a broken zip-line. She suffered a deep cut to her right leg, which was invaded by a rare, flesh-eating bacterial infection called necrotizing fasciitis.
Copeland’s father kept a blog of her recovery progress; at first, she wasn’t expected to survive. Her left leg, right foot and both hands were amputated, and large patches of skin had to be replaced with skin grafts.
For a while, Copeland resisted pain medications out of personal beliefs. But the pain became so intolerable she eventually accepted them.
On July 2, Copeland was released from the hospital and went to rehab. On Aug. 22, she was finally able to go home.
She’s spent the last two weeks greeting friends and supporters and appearing on Katie to share her story of recovery.
“I love life. It’s a beautiful thing… even more so now,” Copeland told host Katie Couric. “Everything smells better. Everything is more vibrant, more beautiful.”
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