Zip line victim’s parents speak: Flesh-eating bacteria contained; doctors hope to save most of her limbs

The parents of Aimee Copeland—a 24-year-old Georgia woman who is recovering after contracting a rare flesh-eating bacteria in a zip line accident—say her condition, while critical, is "improving." They hope she will be able to breathe on her own soon.

Copeland, a graduate student at the University of West Georgia, remains hospitalized at the Still Burn Center in Augusta following the May 1 accident, which led to an infection from the Aeromonas hydrophila bacteria that claimed one of her legs and may require the amputation of her fingers.

The original gash on Copeland's leg took 20 staples to close; the bacteria, doctors say, came from the Little Tallapoosa River where Aimee fell.

Last week, Aimee's father, Andy Copeland, said doctors told him the chances of his daughter's survival were "slim to none." On Monday, Copeland said she was conscious, and that he was able to communicate with her in the hospital on Sunday.

"She's been asking 'Where am I? How long have I been here?'" Andy Copeland said on NBC's "Today" show. "And when we told her how long she'd been there, her first concern was, 'I've got to be working on my thesis.'"

Andy Copeland said Aimee was also concerned about losing her job at Sunnyside Cafe. "It was really amazing—I think it says a lot about our daughter's work ethic."

Surgeons are hopeful they will be able to save her palms, NBC reported.

Aimee does not yet know she's lost a leg, but her father added: "My daughter's strong, she really is."