She was nearly killed by flesh-eating bacteria
Four years ago, then-24-year-old Aimee Copeland was riding a zip-line at the Tallapoosa River outside of Atlanta, Georgia. During her ride, the line snapped and she fell, resulting in a deep cut that required 22 stitches. Three days later, she was readmitted to the hospital in severe pain and doctors found she had contracted necrotizing fasciitis caused by the flesh-devouring bacteria Aeromonas hydrophila. She immediately went into multiple organ failure and had part of her abdomen, one of her legs, a foot, and both hands amputated.
Six weeks after her injury, she was released from the hospital and admitted to a rehabilitation center where for two months she worked hard to adjusting to her new life and bionic limbs. “It was when I went home almost two months later it got difficult,” she told The Daily Mail. “You realize it’s not just about brushing your hair or your teeth, there are a million things we do everyday that I had to figure out.”
After combating her physical issues, she had to learn to accept her new body. “All my life I was told how pretty I was,” she said. “I was 5-foot-eight and weighed 125 lbs and was confident when I looked in the mirror. After the accident there were no mirrors in the hospital and that is for a reason.”
But recently, as part of her miraculous recovery, she learned to accept her body and decided to show it off on a trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico. “It has taken me a long time to become comfortable with and accept my new body/ We are ALL made with imperfections and there is so much beauty in our flaws,” she wrote on Facebook. “The scars and skin grafting build character! It’s not about what you have -- what you do with what you have is what really counts.”