Aimee Copeland's new digs unveiled for her homecoming

Bohemian, earthy and eclectic. That's Aimee Copeland, family and friends say.

That also describes the new digs the Snellville woman will come home to next week when she leaves a rehab center where she's been recovering from a flesh-decaying infection that claimed her leg, foot and both hands.

Builder Pulte Homes handed over keys to a 1,956-square-foot wing to the Copeland family home on Wednesday. Pulte and 50 of its trade partners, including Home Depot, built the warm, spacious, two-story addition at no cost to the family and equipped it for Copeland's special needs. Copeland, who will use a wheelchair and prosthetics, had major input in planning the space, where earth tones and eclectic style abound.

"It was all done with Aimee's needs in mind," said Ryan Lewis, a Pulte vice president.

Many of the nearly 200 volunteers who built and renovated the home in 25 days — more quickly than their 40-day schedule — were on hand for the unveiling of the space that features a new bedroom, fitness room, study and an elevator, and a renovated great room and kitchen, at a cost of more than $200,000, Pulte officials estimated.

"No job has meant more to me than this one," in all my years of doing this kind of work, said remodeling contractor Casey Moon, of K and C Services in Lilburn. "Aimee's story touched me from day one. I had to help."

Her ordeal began when Copeland suffered a cut on rocks and got the necrotizing fasciitis infection after falling from a broken zip-line over a west Georgia river. Early on, doctors gave Copeland a slim chance of surviving. But she battled back. Her struggle gained national attention as her father, Andy Copeland, wrote emotional entries about the ordeal in a blog.

John Klemenc, manager of the Home Depot in Snellville, said he felt an urge to help the moment he heard Copeland's story. Home Depot renovated the second floor, complete with a new, open kitchen.The project costs surpassed $55,000 and included 50 Home Depot employees who volunteered their time.

The new home addition offers a slew of amenities, including:

— a state-of-the art exercise room where Copeland can continue her physical rehab.

— a study built with reclaimed barn wood to fit with Copeland's love of nature and the outdoors. It also has a two-sided remote-controlled fireplace, a black granite desk and built-in book shelves.

— a bedroom with a sitting area that includes Copeland's artwork. Her bathroom has an extra deep sink that allows her to easily wash her prosthetics, and a shower that allows for easy transfer from her wheelchair to the shower area.

"I'm blown away at everything they've done," Andy Copeland said of the efforts of 100-plus volunteers. "I think the person that's really going to be blown away is Aimee."

Staff writer Helena Oliviero contributed to this story.