Flesh-eating bacteria survivor Aimee Copeland starts work as therapist

11:04 a.m. Friday, April 14, 2017 Gwinnett County
HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Aimee Copeland, left, works as a case management intern at Shepherd Center in this November 2015 file photo. 

Aimee Copeland, a Gwinnett County native who survived a flesh-eating bacteria after a ziplining acccident, is beginning her career as a psychotherapist, she announced on Facebook.

Copeland fell from a zipline into the Little Tallapoosa River in May 2012, severely injuring her leg, and was later diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, a bacterial infection caused when contaminated water entered an open wound in her calf. She lost parts of all four limbs due to the infection and doctors told her she had little chance of survival.

Watch Aimee Copeland’s inspiring GGC commencement address

Copeland was a student at the University of West Georgia at the time, studying for a master’s degree in psychology. She finished that degree after the accident and then earned a master’s in social work online through Valdosta State University. 

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Now a licensed clinical social worker, Copeland announced Monday that she would start work as a psychotherapist at Heartwork Counseling Center in Atlanta’s Inman Park neighborhood. 

"This placement will prepare her to provide services for people of all ages and abilities at her inclusive nature park and therapy center,” the Facebook announcement said. 

Aimee Copeland tells why she's grateful at Shepherd Center, where she interns as a case management staff, on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 (Video by Hyosub Shin / AJC)

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