Zip Line Accident Leaves Girl Fighting Deadly Case of Flesh-Eating Virus (VIDEO)


Aimee CopelandLast week 24-year-old Aimee Copeland was healthy and active, out kayaking with her friends on Little Tallapoosa River in Georgia. When they decided to go zip lining, she was game. Unfortunately, the line snapped, and she fell, getting a nasty gash in her leg.

Though she needed more than 20 staples to close the wound, still she might have considered herself lucky if it had ended there. Unfortunately, it didn't, and today Copeland is in an Augusta hospital fighting for her life after a deadly flesh-eating bacteria entered the wound. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, her leg has already been amputated, and doctors say her prognosis is heartbreakingly bleak.

The bacteria she's fighting is known as necrotizing fasciitis, and it's taken hold over her body despite the amputation and numerous surgeries in the last week. Her father told WXIA-TV that she's already been in cardiac arrest twice and her organs are failing. Doctors say her chances of surviving are "slim to none."

Though it has attacked her so viciously, the infection is rare. The key to help it from progressing her father says, is early detection. In Aimee's case she visited doctors several times after her injury complaining of pain and other symptoms, but each time she was released and sent home. Could things have gone differently if someone had detected it earlier? We may never know, but her father does say he wants everyone to be more aware of it. According to WebMd, symptoms include:

  • Pain that gets better over 24 to 36 hours and then suddenly gets worse
  • Skin that is red, swollen, and hot to the touch
  • A fever and chills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This is one of those stories that take my breath away when I think of how fragile our health really is. Here this beautiful young woman was out doing something that we're all supposed to do to maintain our health -- getting active in the great outdoors -- and now she's fighting for her life. Her father told the Atlanta Journal Constitution, "We take so much for granted in life, but I never imagined that one of my daughters would face this most unlikely of situations.”

None of us does.

For now, the family is praying. They've set up a fund to help with medical costs and a Facebook page, Believe and pray for a miracle to happen for Aimee Copeland, to help with what may be their only hope at this point -- a miracle.

Have you ever known anyone to contract any of bacteria like this?



general health


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Alycia Eggers

Wow this is horrifying! Just went zip-lining last month, to think the line snapped and that wasn't even the worse part. Praying for this girl and her family. 

sunny... sunnytxmom

Yes this happened to my friends sister-in-law. Luckily she survived but both of her hands were amputated as well as her breast, and part of her face. It almost killed her.

I worry about this now that I am an RN! One of the many reasons why I wash, wash, wash my hands all day long!

lovin... lovinlife13

I've seen it only once in 6 years of nursing. Its unreal how quickly its spreads and the devestation it causes. Hoping she pulls through.

jalaz77 jalaz77

Yup seen it quit bit in surgery. Someone dropped the ball. So sad.

CPN322 CPN322

No, thank goodness. I was terrified when I went zip lining of just that happening(the line ripping). I know this is rare, but its really scarey that it actually happened. 

sarad... saradanielle

I got this after my c section in June 2010. I went to the dr office 5 days PP and my c section incision had turned black in less than 4 hours. I had emergency surgery that night, the surgeon said that if I had gone home someone would've found me dead. It took 6 months but my wound closed and I am alive! It was the hardest 6 months of my life, single, homeless and mother of 2 children. It was the challenge of my life.

Veann Grigajtis

My heart goes out to this woman and her family.  Life is so fragile and thus, so precious.

Alt_Mom Alt_Mom

It's really bothering me that this girl was showing symptoms of infection and was sent home. I didn't have anything as severe as she does, but I did once get an awful bacterial infection that started as poison ivy (my fault, because I scratched it). By the time I went to the hospital, there was an open wound in my inner thigh, as well as wounds on my wrist and neck, and I felt nauseous. I was immediately treated when the doctors heard my symptoms and saw the state I was in. It's so sad that, because doctors did not take the time to really examine her symptoms, this girl has to fight for her life.

Cryst... CrystalG4

My prayers go out to the family... Please God, watch over this precious life and let her beat this awful thing...

jessi... jessicasmom1

WOW my prayers go out to her and her family how terriable

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