When I first read about Aimee Copeland, the 24-year-old college student who was struck down with a terrible case of necrotizing fasciitis -- more commonly known as "flesh-eating bacteria" -- I was terrified for her.
I'm a nurse and come from a medical family, so I know how deadly that bacteria is and how recovery from such a condition is nearly always impossible. Necrotizing fasciitis -- caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes -- while very rare, can develop through cuts in the skin (even minor ones) and begin to kill off the normal, healthy tissue quickly.
So when I heard about Copeland's miraculous recovery, I admit, I watched to see how it would play out.
And now? Aimee Copeland is my hero.
Less than a month ago, the brave girl who'd managed to fight off the fatal bacteria and lost her left leg, right foot, and both of her hands in the process was released from Doctor's Hospital in Augusta, Georgia, where she'd been since May. She went to a rehabilitation facility near her home to continue working on her recovery.
Now, the miracle of Aimee's survival after battling a disease that claims more than 60 percent of its victims is in itself astounding. But in a recent blog post, her father reveals that Aimee has also been undergoing an incredible physical therapy regimen to gain back the ability to get into and out of her chair and is working toward being able to, once again, drive her car.
I haven't gotten to the best parts.
Her dad writes that Aimee does 200 crunches in 7 minutes. Yeah, 200 hundred crunches in 7 minutes. He reports that after every 10 crunches, Aimee must say a complete sentence.
In addition, Aimee does 400 leg lifts in 7 minutes. Seven. Minutes.
Now, I haven't had flesh-eating disease (although I consider pregnancy to be a parasitic condition lasting approximately nine months), and I have both my legs and arms intact. And there's no way I could do 200 crunches in 7 minutes.
But thanks to Aimee, I now feel I need to get back on the exercise horse and ride it.
Two hundred crunches. Seven minutes. Can I do it?
Yes, yes I can. Maybe not today, but someday. Someday soon.
So thanks, Aimee, for reminding this girl that you really CAN do anything you set your mind to.
I needed that today.
Are you inspired by Aimee Copeland's strength?
Image via Fotos Gov/Ba/Flickr