In 2012, Aimee Copeland was a 24-year-old student, graduating from the University of Georgia.
That year, she decided to spend some free time with friends, enjoying the last weeks before her graduation.
One day, they decided to go on an outing to a small lake, where they could go zip-lining over the water. The group of adventurers was eager to try it out.
What Aimee couldn’t have known was that this moment would change her life forever. A zip-line consists of a long stretched cable that rises into the air, offering a breathtaking view below. Generally, it is a completely safe activity.
But when Aimee’s turn came, everything went wrong. The cable suddenly snapped, and Aimee fell towards a cliff… losing her leg that day.
Aimee was transported to the hospital, but the tragedy didn’t end there.
Doctors discovered that the situation was much worse. A flesh-eating bacteria had infected the wound, and the 24-year-old woman was at risk of dying.
The fall had caused a deep leg wound that became infected with a type of bacteria called Aeromonas hydrophila, leading to a potentially deadly condition known as necrotizing fasciitis, commonly referred to as flesh-eating disease.
After 11 surgeries and a challenging rehabilitation, Aimee fortunately managed to pull through, but she had to be amputated of both hands and both legs.
Slowly but surely, Aimee adapted to her new life, and four years after the accident, this photo of the warrior spread across social media, inspiring thousands of people online.
There, in a bikini on the beach, Aimee proudly displays her body as it is – with its scars and amputated limbs.
She wrote, “It took me a long time to feel comfortable with my new body and accept it. We are ALL made of imperfections, and there is so much beauty in our flaws. Scars and skin grafts build character! It’s not about what you have, but what you do with what you have.”
Today, in 2023, Aimee Copeland advocates for the rights of amputees and people with disabilities, continuing to inspire others through her public appearances and messages on social media.