24-Year-Old Woman Survives Flesh-Eating Bacteria, Posts Amazing Beach Photo

Photographed by Amelia Alpaugh.
Back in May of 2012, Aimee Copeland and her friends decided to try out a homemade zip-line they had found hanging above a river outside of Atlanta, GA. The line snapped, dropping Copeland into the waters below. She survived, but not without a huge gash in her leg. From there, things got much worse.

Aimee received 22 staples at the hospital, but something felt off to her — beyond the normal pain you'd expect in that situation, she tells People. Three days later, things got scary: She developed blood blisters and couldn't speak. Once she was back at the hospital, doctors diagnosed her with necrotizing fasciitis, a severe (but rare) infection caused by flesh-eating bacteria. To stop the spread of the infection and save Aimee's life, they needed to amputate most of her hands, part of her abdomen, one of her legs, and one of her feet.

Since then, it's taken a long time for Aimee to feel comfortable with her body. But to celebrate how far she's come, Copeland posted an amazing beach photo (below) on her Facebook page this week. "We are ALL made with imperfections and there is so much beauty in our flaws," she writes in the post. "It's not about what you have — what you do with what you have is what really counts."

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It's your body. It's your summer. Enjoy them both. Check out more #TakeBackTheBeach, here.

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