After struggling for a long period of time to defeat the flesh-eating disease, Aimee Copeland is pleading doctors to offer her painkillers. According to ABC News, the Georgia student has undergone a surgery to replace the swaths of skin and muscles that have been affected by the bacteria.
Aimee Copeland has lost her left leg, her right foot and her arm after contracting the flesh-eating bacteria during a fall from a homemade zipline. Doctors have managed to stabilize her condition, but the pain has become unbearable, so Copeland was forced to resort to painkillers.
At first, the Georgia student didn’t want to use these medicines because it would have contradicted her personal beliefs. As a consequence, she tried to get rid of the pain through alternative methods, such as, pain management and meditation, but they turned out to be useless. In the end, she was forced to take morphine; in fact, doctors would have administered it in a IV drip if the girl refused to take it.
Aimee lost part of her torso during her most recent medical intervention. The wound was carefully cleaned and treated until Friday when doctors performed a reconstructive surgery. They made a skin graft to cover the iliac artery in her groin by taking pieces of muscle from Aimee’s abdomen. Her father, Andy Copeland wrote in a blog post that Aimee is feeling like a “patchwork quilt because her body is a collection of skin grafts and bandages”.
According to Dr. J. Blair Summitt, assistant professor of plastic surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, a skin graft is created by surgically removing patches of shaved skin from the body in order to place them on the wound. Summitt told reporters that doctors were able to take “sheets [of skin] between 10 and 12 thousandths of an inch thick”. Small blood vessels start to develop after two or three days in the graft, proving that the procedure was successful.
Although the procedure was described by doctors as straightforward, it is also very painful. The dose of Morphine, Fentanyl and Lyrica that Aimee is receiving is no longer effective and the girl pleads her father to give her the medicine ahead of schedule. Andy Copeland confessed that hearing his daughter asking for painkillers is one of the hardest things he has to witness.