She soon became infected with a bacteria that normally is harmless, but in Copeland it caused necrotizing fasciitis, which destroys body tissues. The bacteria's toxins did extensive damage, forcing doctors to amputate Copeland's left leg at the hip, her right foot and hands. Surgeons also removed part of her torso. They also performed grafts to replace skin that was removed.
The University of West Georgia grad student's resounding spirit showed through after doctors gave her a slim chance of survival.
"Let's do this," was Copeland's response when told she needed more surgery to halt the infection, according to her father. She battled through the amputations, preferring meditation to medicine to deal with the pain. Holistic pain management techniques have been the focus of her master's thesis, her father wrote on the blog. But she opted for medication when the pain grew to great to bear, he noted.
Copeland continues to show that resounding spirit. She plans to graduate this year, her father told Good Morning America..