(ATLANTA) — Aimee Copeland, the 24-year-old Georgia grad student who lost her left leg, right foot and hands to flesh-eating disease, has left the Augusta hospital that saved her life.
It’s been two months since Copeland cut open her calf in a fall from a homemade zip line near the Little Tallapoosa River, inviting the deadly infection that landed her in critical condition.
Copeland is en route to a private rehabilitation facility, where she will learn to use a wheelchair and, eventually, prosthetic limbs. Her family, who lives in Snellville, Ga., has decided to keep the location of the facility private.
The next phase will involve months of intense rehab, according to Dr. Alberto Esquenazi, chief medical officer of MossRehab in Philadelphia.
“The first step is to provide patients with self independence,” said Esquenazi, who is also the chairman of physical medicine and rehabilitation at MossRehab Regional Amputee Center. “Right now, someone has to feed her, help her with hygiene, turn on lights, open doors. … But some simple devices can help her do these things herself.”
Copeland will learn to use a wheelchair until her body is strong enough to tolerate prosthetics.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jennifer Graham, Deseret News
Ariane de Vogue and Dan Berman, CNN
Susie East, CNN
Jessica Ivins, CNN