Necrotizing Fasciitis Zip Line Victim Communicates With Parents

Aimee Copeland
(Credit: ABC News)
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(Credit: ABC News)

Aimee Copeland, the 24-year-old Georgia woman who contracted necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacteria, after a zip lining accident, is reportedly able to communicate with her parents even though she still needs a breathing tube

Aimee’s mother and father have learned to read her lips, ABC reported.

When her father, Andy Copeland, spoke on NBC’s “Today” show, he told them he was able to understand Aimee when she said she was thirsty and that when she is able to eat by herself again, she wants ice cream.

“We just take it each day at a time,” he said. “My daughter’s strong, she really is.”

Aimee is going to lose all her fingers, ABC reported, but doctors are hoping they can save her hands so she will be able to have some mobility with the aid of prosthetics.

“Aimee is alert and trying to mouth questions,” Andy Copeland wrote on a website created to provide updates to friends and supporters. “Her breathing tube has been reoriented to increase her comfort and allow them to try to read her lips. She said: `I can’t talk!’ We told her it was because of the tube, and we explained the need for it. `Take it out!’ She also asked `What happened?’ and `Where am I?”‘

The family said in a Facebook post: “We need support more than ever now. She is starting to recover slowly but the bacteria and infection are still doing damage.”

Doctors said Copeland contracted necrotizing fasciitis a few days after her leg was cut when a zip-line broke. She was taken to the emergency room where workers closed the cut with 22 staples in her calf.

Aimee is not aware of her injuries, her father said to the “Today” show, but when she was told she had been hospitalized for a few days she became worried about missing her graduate classes at the University of West Georgia and work at a cafe.