Aimee Copeland, the Georgia student recovering from flesh-eating disease, went outside for the first time in 49 days, her father wrote on his blog today. Doctors Hospital in Augusta, where the 24-year-old has undergone treatment, also upgraded her condition from "serious" to "good," despite her missing limbs.
For a patient's status to change from serious to good, vital signs must be stable and within normal limits. The patient is conscious and comfortable and indicators are excellent, the hospital reported.
"The smile on Aimee's face said that this was the best therapy that she has had in weeks," Andy Copeland wrote in a blog post. "Not one thought of the pain in her abdomen, not the slightest concern over her time away from the ICU. Fresh scenery and close proximity to nature was all she needed."
Her father noted that nature therapy is the basis of Copeland's master's thesis.
It has been nearly two months since Copeland cut open her calf in a fall from a homemade zipline near the Little Tallapoosa River, a flesh-eating infection that claimed her left leg, right foot and hands. Doctors also removed part of her torso, leaving a wound that was cleaned and covered with sterile bandages in advance of reconstructive surgery Friday.
In Andy Copeland's latest post, he noted that Aimee told her father she doesn't have any regrets for what happened.
"I don't focus on what I've lost, I would rather focus on what I've gained I feel like I've been blessed," she reportedly said to her dad while outside. "I mean that I am blessed to have the opportunity to experience something that not many other people have the chance to experience.
"I am blessed to be able to have a challenge that not many others get to have," she continued. "I am blessed to have the capacity to share my experience with others and have a chance to improve the quality of someone else's life. I'm blessed to be different."
Copeland's future will focus on rehabilitation and learning to live with prosthetics. But even in her "greatest moment of weakness, her father wrote, she will always be stronger than I can ever hope to be."