Aimee Copeland, the Georgia student who lost her leg to a rare flesh-eating infection after a zip line injury, is smiling and laughing, according to her family. - She doesn't know she's lost her leg. She appears to be in good spirits.
Copeland, 24, is still on a respirator, but her parents have said they can read her lips and that the day they will remove her breathing tube is approaching.
Copeland isn't fully aware of what has happened to her yet.'She keeps asking "Where am I? How long have I been here?" After I told her she said, "I gotta be working on my thesis.”
Copeland's father said she faces a long recovery not just from her amputation but also from kidney failure and other organ damage caused by the infection
.Doctors have already amputated her left leg to save her life and her parents say she will likely lose her fingers as well after the infection spread rapidly through her body.
Mr. Copeland said that doctors believe the necrotizing fasciitis or flesh-eating disease may not be as severe as previously thought. In fact, they are hopeful Aimee's palms will be saved to allow the use of prosthetic devices. The memory loss is a temporary setback, they believe.
Dr. Michael Lucchesi, chief medical officer for SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, told FoxNews.com. “These bacteria are ubiquitous – they’re everywhere. But when you have stagnant water, and you have animals defecating in the water, or you have other types of fish and wildlife that might have died in it."
"The bacteria typically enter the body through a puncture wound, so in Aimee’s case, it entered her body through the gash she received after falling from a homemade zip line by a creek in Carrolltown, Ga."
NF symptoms include small, red lumps on the skin, bruising that spreads quickly, sweating, chills, fever and nausea, often followed by organ failure and shock