UPDATE: Family of woman with rare, flesh eating bacteria say she - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

COPY-UPDATE: Family of woman with rare, flesh eating bacteria say she'll lose hands, feet

Paige Copeland fought back the tears as her sister, Aimee fought for her life.

"We're not going to give up on her, so she shouldn't give up on herself," said Paige Copeland.

The Copeland family came from Gwinnett County to Augusta's Doctors Hospital for a young woman they love dearly. 

Aimee Copeland, 24, holds onto life at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center as a severe, flesh eating bacteria threatens to take her life. 

Aimee was zip-lining along the Little Tallapoosa River last Tuesday when the home-made zip-line broke and Aimee fell, cutting her leg deeply. 

Doctors said the bacteria that entered the wound is common but the way Aimee's body reacted was rare.

Within a week and a half of her injury Aimee was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, a life threatening disease which destroys human tissue. Her leg was amputated to help slow the spread of the infection.  

"It's mind blowing to think that just a week ago our daughter was fine," said Aimee's father, Andy Copeland.

She has received around the clock attention from the staff at the Burn Center and her condition improved Thursday.

"Her possibility of survival was absolutely minuscule. Today my daughter actually communicated with us through a head shake, nods," Andy Copeland, said.  

The family is hopeful she will recover, but her condition is still critical and she's relying on a ventilator to breathe.

"It is apparent to us now that she will lose her foot, the good foot and her two hands, she will not have any digits," said Andy Copeland.

But in spite of the heartbreaking news, Aimee's family is hoping for the best.

"I don't care what the science says, I just know what my heart says and I know that Aimee's got a great purpose going forward and I know that she's going to make it," Andy Copeland, said.

Andy Copeland said Aimee's doctors have told the family she has a better chance of survival if her lungs begin working again; that would help the rest of her organs stay strong. The doctors also said her mind is still healthy.

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