Flesh-Eating Bacteria Took Her Legs, Hands, But Aimee Copeland Finds New Life, New Love

  • by: Alan Duke

Aimee Copeland's story was grim in 2012. The nation watched as the 20-year-old Georgia college student fought to live while necrotizing fasciitis, a rare flesh-eating bacteria, spread throughout her body. Four years later, Copeland has more than survived -- she has thrived.

Her hands, feet and one leg are gone, but a profile story in People Magazine reveals how Copeland has "a new life and a new love."

"I've let go of the girl I was before," she tells People. "I've completely embraced who I am."

This video tells how she got back into the dating scene and found a new boyfriend.

"He accepted me for something much deeper than what I present on the outside," she says.

These days, there's no stopping her. Aimee loves cooking for friends in her open kitchen, working out, kayaking and adding to the 80,000 miles she's already driven in her customized van.

She recently finished her second master's degree in social work and has plans to open up a non-profit holistic community center for people with disabilities. With her whole life ahead of her, she says, "My self-confidence has never been higher."

  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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