Decatur nurse dies battling rare infection

A Decatur nurse battling a rare bacterial infection died Wednesday.

Hannah Rinehart, 32, a three-time cancer survivor, had her hands and feet amputated after suffering from septic shock as a result of a capnocytophaga bacterial infection. Since July Rinehart, a patient care technician in DeKalb County, had been at Northside Hospital fighting the rare infection found primarily in dog saliva.

Mark Rinehart wrote a Facebook post Wednesday morning on the death of his wife.

“At exactly 0415 this morning, Hannah Johnson Rinehart went to be with the Lord. She is celebrating, and I am thankful for God allowing me to have the privilege of being her husband while she was here on this Earth. Family was present, and when Hannah was ready to go, she left quickly,” he wrote.

Co-workers of Mark Rinehart, a Gwinnett County school teacher, had offered to donate leave time to him so he could spend more time by his wife’s side, but the school district would not bend its policy that bans the practice, according to Channel 2 Action News.

Andy Copeland, the father of Aimee Copeland, the 24-year-old Snellville woman who battled back from a different rare infection that led to the amputation of her limbs, expressed condolences to Mark Rinehart, to whom he had offered encouragement during Hannah Rinehart’s battle against the infection.

“We are very deeply saddened to learn of Hannah Rinehart’s passing,” Andy Copeland told the AJC. “She and Mark and her family have been ever present in our prayer lives. We had hoped and prayed for her full recovery, but there’s no rhyme nor reason for her suffering and untimely passing. Only God knows and understands such things and it is He who now benefits from Hannah’s glowing presence amongst the angels.”

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