I am Aimee Copeland, the 25 year old graduate student who contracted necrotizing fasciitis after falling from a zip line last year. Flesh eating bacteria in the water entered a wound on my left leg, which was completely destroyed within 72 hours. It had to be amputated at my hip, along with a portion of flesh from my torso. Weeks later, the veins in my hands and feet collapsed and those also were removed. Now I have no hands or feet. Ask me anything!

My website: www.aimeecopeland.com Proof: http://i1344.photobucket.com/albums/p646/Aecopelan/

Thanks for all your questions, this was entertaining and I learned a lot from y'all!

Comments: 773 • Responses: 85  • Date: 

iheartdewey272 karma

I feel like such a dick for even thinking this, but how do you wipe?

Aecopelan380 karma

Lol I was waiting for this one. Several methods: 1. Prosthetic hands 2. At home I have a bidet 3. Carry around wipes, place on toilet seat when finished, wiggle around on top of the wipe to clean off.

Aecopelan685 karma

Exactly. Where do you think I learned it? On the street, of course.

SgtCrinklecream52 karma

Do you use the three shells?

Aecopelan33 karma

I use a ToTo washlet. This is the model I have: http://www.totousa.com/Washlet/S400.aspx

Johnthephotographer-3 karma

would you suggest the wiggle method for those of us more... um... capable folks?

Aecopelan8 karma

No. I think the hand method works best.

JPree227 karma

I remember when this happened and felt very sad and sorry for you. I saw your Proof picture and your smile gave me a smile as well. I dont have a question. Just want to say it's good thing to see you smile.

Much Love.

Aecopelan144 karma

:-D

I_Have_EYES114 karma

Do you have what they call phantom limb pain? If so, how bad does it feel and how does it affect you?

Aecopelan242 karma

I do. I have both phantom sensations and phantom pain. It hurt very bad at first,like a 9. Even when laying down it felt like my left leg was completely bent so I was sitting on my foot. One night a wise nurse strapped my right leg to the mattress so it couldn't bend. When I woke up the left leg was finally unbent. If I try to move my feet at all now it is excruciating,like burning needles stuck in them. My hands feel like they are curled in tight fists permanently. I try not to focus on the pain and over time I have gotten used to it. It doesn't really effect me although I just have a higher baseline of pain on a daily basis. It has really given me a higher tolerance for pain.

AJSTOOBE49 karma

[deleted]

Aecopelan52 karma

When at the hospital the therapist tried using her own hand in lieu of a mirror but that didn't seem to work. My friend has an idea for a computer program where you put your stump in or under something and it displays a hand (so maybe for iPad if you hold it over your stump it displays an anatomically correct hand that appears to be coming from your arm). The only thing I've found to work is massage of the areas. It's uncomfortable at first but really helps.

the_onanist45 karma

Probably someone has mentioned this to you, but SSRI drugs have been used for phantom limb syndrome.

Aecopelan41 karma

Actually I hadn't heard that but I'll look it up!

markg879 karma

[deleted]

Aecopelan6 karma

They had me on lyrica for a while but I switched to savella. Also was on very high doses of neurontin in rehab. When I got home I weaned myself off them and honestly didn't really notice a difference. I still had phantom pain when I was on the drugs and they made me vomit. Now I just take a multivitamin. I never had luck with painkillers. They didn't work except in very high doses and then I just couldn't stay awake.

Wickenshire100 karma

How did you fall from a zip line? Was there a lawsuit?

Aecopelan268 karma

The zip line snapped. The man whose property I was on was very sweet and a friend. It was not his fault. We did not sue.

tuckmyjunksofast27 karma

How were/are your medical bills covered?

Aecopelan75 karma

My mom works for the school system and I was 24 and covered under her policy. Other bills were paid by the generous donations of others. I have been very blessed in this way.

rwbombc97 karma

You know you could be an extra on The Walking Dead, you'd male the best zombie ever! It's filmed in GA too!

Also you can probably make some kickass Halloween outfits!

Aecopelan170 karma

I really want to do this. I'm a huge walking dead fan and I'd totally do this if they'd have me!

Atom_B92 karma

Are you typing responses or someone else? If you, how? Not trying to be an ass, just wondering.

Aecopelan164 karma

I'm using an iPad mini and using the bony protrusion at the end of my arm to type.

morggie57 karma

is that difficult? I would imagine it would make it hard to type.

Aecopelan143 karma

It's slower bc I only use one point ( the other nub holds the iPad up) but I've typed 10 page papers on here and it's really not bad.

Johnthephotographer43 karma

Do you find it better than using siri for the voice to text feature?

Aecopelan110 karma

It's helpful but I usually don't think to use it. Plus if I'm in public I don't want everyone to hear what I'm texting

slendrman76 karma

Your website covers a lot of generic questions I have, but here's one I didn't see:

How has this affected romantic relationships throughout your life?

Aecopelan188 karma

Well I have been dating the same guy since 2008. We took a break in 2011 and had gotten back together a few months before my injury. He has been so supportive and helps me so much. I love him with every ounce of my being. This has been hard on him especially because he was with me the first few days when my body shut down and I nearly died. He's the one who took me to the hospital.

l3ahamut49 karma

That says a lot a bout him, don't know how many people would stick around.. That being said, your comment made me have a question.

I love him with every ounce of my being.

...How much do you weigh now vs before the accident? (hopefully this doesn't offend you)

edit: formatting.

xyzxyz444421 karma

No need for actual weights... How about a net loss from before/after amputation?

I also followed your story closely and was rooting for you every moment of every day while you were in the hospital. I lost one leg just above the knee to a bad MRSA infection in 2000, but I can't even imagine losing both hands. I'm curious about how well your "bionic hands" work. I'm an engineer and I'd really like to believe we're making good progress in the prosthetics department. I haven't finished reading this thread yet, so don't worry about typing a response to this if you've already talked about this!

Aecopelan95 karma

Haha I joke that I lost 40 pounds on the necrotizing fasciitis diet... And it only took 3 days!

Aecopelan16 karma

Also the bionic hands work very well. Without them I can only hold one thing. My arms together act as one extremity. With the bionic hands I have the capability of grasping/pinching/holding smaller objects and doing two things at once. It's actually pretty easy to use. There are only two signals I give-- by flexing my wrist forward all the way and backward all the way. I can give smaller signals (barely bend my wrist) to get a smaller movement from the hand. It is proportional. In addition, by sending a pattern of signals (hold open, double impulse, triple impulse) I can toggle between my favorite grips ( lateral grip, two finger pinch, three finger pinch, trigger, cylindrical, etc.). You can even customize grips. They take some getting used to so I just have to be very patient and give myself plenty of time to do things.

deepsouthdiarrhea65 karma

That disease scares the absolute shit out of me. Props for surviving. What was scarier — when you first heard you had the disease and what it does or when things started escalating?

Aecopelan113 karma

Well during that time I was not coherent so couldn't be afraid. I became fully aware when they said they had to take my right foot and hands but even then I wasn't scared. I somehow knew everything would be okay. I was never afraid of dying, although on the 3rd day when I woke up the only thing I said was "I think I'm dying." Even then I feel my body was shutting down so I didn't even have the capacity of fear. My body was using every ounce of energy to just survive.

spankymuffin63 karma

I'm really not trying to be an asshole, honest to god, but what do you do instead of shaking hands when you first meet someone?

Aecopelan138 karma

Sometimes I let people shake my nub if they want. or pound. or tap elbows. I'm really a hugger though!

miscmantheman59 karma

How are the prosthetics going? On that note, have you considered replacing one or both hands with a chainsaw/gun and turning to a life of vigilantism?

Aecopelan48 karma

They are going great. I have iLimbs for my arms and can use my arm muscles to open and close the hands and toggle between different grips. I just got a c leg/ helix for my left leg and have just started learning to walk on that this week. That sounds like an awesome scenario but I'm all about nonviolence. And with the cost of prosthetics that would be one expensive gun or chainsaw.

Carighan9 karma

So basically this isn't going to happen? Damn! ^_^

Aecopelan16 karma

Maybe for Halloween or a party

Indydegrees253 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA!

Do you feel like people are treating you differently since the accident?

Aecopelan205 karma

Yes. A woman came up to me and said her priest says I'm a saint. If he knew me before he wouldn't think so. Also men used to stare at me because I had long legs and a nice ass. Now they stare because I have no leg and am in a chair.

SheeEttin83 karma

Do you still have a nice ass?

Aecopelan220 karma

I don't know I'm always sitting down so I can't see it.

BuriedRedditor46 karma

I'm not sure if you're in a relationship or anything, but have you noticed a change in the guys that talk to you? Like are they more genuine, nice people?

Aecopelan96 karma

Guys don't talk to me anymore, lol. I think I scare them.

KingModest45 karma

Woah reading the description of how you became an amputee I swear there is an infinite number of ways in which you can be screwed over in this life. Its so unfair.

Aecopelan433 karma

Maybe.

There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. "Such bad luck," they said sympathetically. "Maybe," the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. "How wonderful," the neighbors exclaimed. "Maybe," replied the old man. The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. "Maybe," answered the farmer. The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son's leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. "Maybe," said the farmer.

nearvana42 karma

[deleted]

Aecopelan82 karma

I think many factors were involved with my support. Sadly my looks probably played a role in the beginning. I really couldn't say for sure.

billieusagi18 karma

It is troubling how many of the comments on here mention how pretty OP is. Surely her incredible inner strength in surviving such an ordeal, coming away from it with such a positive attitude, and now having the goal of making the outdoors more accessible for others with limited mobility is more comment-worthy than how pretty she may be.

Aecopelan16 karma

This is an interesting point, as many of my issues spring from being told this all my life above all else as if it was my most important quality.

rwbombc39 karma

Oh wow holy hell, you were all over the news last year, I can't believe you are here. Only question I have for you is since your story was a huge subject of the media last year, did you receive any type of public support? Like donations or offers of help?

I wish you well on your recovery and good luck!

Aecopelan58 karma

I have received the most amazing support from all over the world. From a van to home remodeling to prosthetics and more, I have been truly taken care of. Thanks to everyone who has loved and supported me!

Captain__Irrelevant35 karma

What are you having for dinner tonight?

Aecopelan79 karma

Haven't decided yet. Feeling spontaneous. Probably Amy's Kitchen or sushi

5iveby5ive39 karma

wait... THE Amy's kitchen... or was that just a joke?

Aecopelan76 karma

No the actual organic frozen food! The owner of the company is so sweet. Her daughter is Amy, who is my age and also studied psychology. Her husband and my father also share the same name. Noticing the parallels she reached out to us and sends my boxes of her food in the mail. This has been a lifesaver for me! And the food is sooo good!!! I love them and their yummy meals!

mentalejaculate29 karma

Star Wars or Game of Thrones?

Aecopelan87 karma

How can anyone choose? Star Wars is a classic to be revered for eternity. The theme of duality in good vs evil is very deep and the characters are so loveable. My boyfriend is always calling me Darth when I wear my prosthetics, because even Vader was good deep down. Game of thrones on the other hand is very well-written and has very good actors. There is no better or worse. They both simply are what they are.

deepsouthdiarrhea16 karma

New question. How has this affected your relationship with your boyfriend or did you meet after the fact?

Aecopelan48 karma

We met before. We have grown closer and have more compassion in our relationship. This has caused him to grow up a lot and become more responsible. Instead of focusing on having fun ourselves we are focusing on helping others in need. He is really a great guy!

shozki27 karma

Are incidences of that flesh eating bacteria being found in water common? And did you become at all depressed or suicidal when you became conscious of what was happening/happened to you?

Aecopelan85 karma

Not common, but it happens more than you would think. I have definitely had my bouts of depression and cried many nights but I am working through my grief and loss. Focusing on helping others diminishes my pain and makes me feel grateful when I am down. I try to remember all the sadness and suffering and remind myself that so many people need my help.

bluebuckin25 karma

what has been the hardest part about getting use to having no hands or feet?

Aecopelan82 karma

This is a very difficult question. The hardest part is being in a power wheelchair. It cannot go up steps or rough terrain, is very bulky, not waterproof, and can only go in a vehicle with a ramp or lift. I can't go to certain places that have stairs and am unable to get around in the backwoods (which I love). Also i am not eye level which bugs me. I definitely feel I am judged based on my wheelchair. Never take walking for granted. It is simple but the best feeling.

twistedfork14 karma

Are prosthetics an option?

Aecopelan131 karma

I just got my left leg today. It'll be hard at first but I think by next year Ill no longer rely on the chair.

IndigoSunset25 karma

[deleted]

Aecopelan108 karma

Ooh yeah. Stayed at a hotel by myself. I was so excited. Unpacked all my stuff at the end of the bed where it would be easy to get to. When I turned my chair it snagged the bedspread, pulling it and all my stuff to the ground. Later took a shower. The bench they had was so tiny I slipped off. I put my arms on the grab bars to hoist myself up and when I got halfway up my arms slipped between the rail and the wall. I fell, this time with my arm stuck. Then I couldn't get it out for the longest time, all twisted in there. Finally got my arm out and finished bathing on the floor of the hotel shower. Afterward I placed my deodorant on the counter, placing my armpit on it to apply. It flies off the counter and breaks into a million pieces. All in under an hour. I could keep going. We all have bad days. Those break downs are important opportunities to cry and scream and let it out. We have to express our emotions in order to relieve ourselves of them.

Cinderbug122 karma

You are a lovely and strong young lady. Do you mind me asking how your parents and siblings ( if you have any) coped with all this? I have a daughter myself and can't imagine her go through all this but I bet they are so proud of you!

Aecopelan33 karma

It has been hard on my parents but its hardest on them when I'm upset. When I'm happy they're happy! I think it was harder in the beginning for them but since I've coped so well they have also.

Kpc259320 karma

It is unfortunate for all that you have gone through, my question is what did you plan on doing upon graduation and has your decision changed because of such events?

I'm glad to hear that you made it out and that you are healthy. I wish you the best! You deserve it!

Aecopelan54 karma

I wanted to do "wilderness therapy," which is a very broad field. I specifically wanted to take clients on long hikes and retreats in the wilderness. I am no longer able to hike like I used to so now my goal is to work with people with disabilities in nature to facilitate their healing. I feel that this is actually the population that could benefit most from this type of therapy, as people in wheelchairs are often alienated from the natural world due to inaccessibility.

A_huge_waffle17 karma

What is the worst thing someone has said to you about your condition?

Aecopelan60 karma

Well one classroom wrote me these letters and I realized after reading the letters that they were reading a book about a disfigured boy and I was the real life example! Lmao Also when people say "aw you poor thing, I just feel so sorry for you." Usually people are very nice though (minus the staring).

OppaWumboStyle16 karma

Do you feel any regret or anger wishing that you never went on the zip line? (Thanks for doing an AMA)

Aecopelan82 karma

At first I had that thought but eventually I realized it could have been anyone but that line was bound to snap. I'm just glad I was able to handle it. Someone else might not have been able to.

skorm1614 karma

whats the most awkward question you've ever been asked by someone about you not having hands or feet

Aecopelan57 karma

One lady assumed I was a veteran and started asking me questions about what it's like being a "wounded serviceman." And "can you still have sex?" They didn't cut that far!

tggadcox12 karma

How has your life changed since the amputations? Are you still able to perform normal day to day activities somewhat easily? What in your opinion is the biggest challenge you have faced, other than the actual disease itself?

I remember hearing about you in the news, glad to see you are doing well!

Aecopelan31 karma

My life is calmer now. Before i had 3 jobs and was in school full time. Now im getting my life back together. Definitely don't party like I used to! Life's a bit quieter now and I live with my parents, whereas before I had a 1 bedroom house all to myself. At first I wasn't able to do everything but now I pretty much can. I no longer wear clothes with buttons or zippers-- all elastic now! I've adapted to most of the challenges. The biggest challenge is being in a wheelchair. I can't go everywhere I want and it's hard get around some places. Plus it's heavy and can only go in vans with a ramp or lift. In addition people act weird when you're in a chair.

zen_monkey11 karma

So what made you do an AMA today?

Aecopelan24 karma

I had never heard of it but my friend Michael said I should do one and Michael's really smart. So I did it. And I'm glad I did!

RyanTally11 karma

Nevermind I actually read the thread. Sorry, but truly Im glad to hear you are doing well. Its an AMA so I am going to ask what everybody else wants to. What is sex like now?

Aecopelan16 karma

No. This error is partially my parents fault, for some reason they thought I was kayaking but I was only planning a kayaking trip at the time. It was the water below the zip line (it crossed a small river) that got into my cut.

crazygrrl9 karma

Can you tell me more about the zip line fall? How high up were you? What kind of wounds did you get from the fall?

Aecopelan24 karma

I was about 6 or 7 feet above the ground on a homemade zip line. It seemed almost like a dog runner if you know what that is, but with handlebars. I fell on rocks below (worst sound ever) and basically cut my leg so deep that my calf muscle started hanging out. It took 22 staples to close it. Other than that just a couple scratches.

Samemsley8 karma

You sound like before the accident you were an adventurer. Kayaking zip lining wildlife therapy etc. what do you do for outdoor fun now?

Aecopelan20 karma

My boyfriend puts me in the manual chair and takes me to small parks. Also I've been exploring handicap accessible camps and parks to see what is offered. Next year I hope to get a chance to paddle at the American canoe associations adaptive clinic. I'm also hoping my new legs will allow me to explore more local parks.

Sitin7 karma

What is something you have learned about people in general since losing your hands and feet?

Aecopelan32 karma

Mostly they're selfish but inside every single person is a seed of selflessness waiting to manifest under the right circumstances. Most of the time it takes a horrible tragedy to make that happen.

Aecopelan13 karma

Mostly they're selfish but inside every single person is a seed of selflessness waiting to manifest under the right circumstances. Most of the time it takes a horrible tragedy to make that happen.

Giovani427 karma

How do you write, right now?

Aecopelan13 karma

iPad, with the bony end of my arm.

tkh08126 karma

Is there anything that you never thought about doing before which is a big deal now?

Aecopelan14 karma

Interesting. Not really. But I think I've thought of doing pretty much everything;-) the big deal now is paddling. I want to kayak or canoe again!

java88886 karma

I'm guessing by virtue of this AMA, you must now be quite accepting of your circumstances. How long did it take for you to adjust and how did you get over the sadness, and embrace the "new" you?

Aecopelan23 karma

Probably took a good 6 months to feel this good again. I was always hopeful, though. I have had faith-- I don't mean blind faith, but a trust in the universe that everything is unfolding precisely as it should. Every little thing is gonna be alright. When I have hard times I embrace them and I grieve. Only after the storm can you see the rainbow.

The_Gentleman_Thief5 karma

[deleted]

Aecopelan21 karma

I can have children but don't know if I want to or not. For reasons unrelated to my injury. Part of me wants kids, part of me doesn't. We'll see how life unfolds!

prolapsedrectum5 karma

Has your fate had a big impact on your mental health? Congrats on being so strong, you're also really pretty.

Aecopelan30 karma

If you have issues, even deeply subconscious, before something like this happens, the trauma causes them to surface. This has been a good thing, as I can see where I have been ignorant in the past and work on my self.

RhianaBananaxx5 karma

damn. that's a lot to go through, but props to you for staying strong! how has this affected you most?

Aecopelan14 karma

Not being able to walk has been the biggest difference. Used to love walking and now I'm in a wheelchair.

sambvka5 karma

What are your future plans career wise? Has this experience changed your major?

Aecopelan37 karma

My focus has stayed the same-- ecopsychology. This is the study of the interconnections between nature and the human psyche. Now I have realized that my purpose is to bring wilderness therapy to people with disabilities. Eventually I'd like to open a holistic nature center that is totally handicap accessible and hold workshops and practice counseling.

Hungry_Nungry4 karma

What do you remember about your operations, if anything? What's it like to be fitted for a prosthesis? What kind of wheelchair do you use?

Aecopelan21 karma

When I was in the operations I had weird hallucinations. In one I was at ikea but in their factory. I was riding on the top of a table as it went through an assembly line. When I flew through the painting part it painted a stripe on my forehead. When the table was finished I asked for my lemonade ( which I requested before surgery). Then I was in the inventory room surrounded by my parents, where I demanded to know if we had a way to transport my table. After about an hour I realized the table was my hospital bed and the chairs were really guard rails.

Being fitted for prostheses is very time consuming. First they use this roll of cloth covered in plaster. They get it wet and ring it out then wrap it around the limb. When it hardens they make a test socket-- a clear mold that you can try on. You try it on and stand on it and they mark where it is uncomfortable and make adjustments. Eventually they mount the test socket on a foot and you take a few steps to make sure it's good. If it works they fabricate it! I have a permobil with front wheel drive. Purple and black.

Aecopelan12 karma

Oh, all the assembly line workers were the surgeons!

lolcutler4 karma

How much of your medical bills did insurance cover and how much were you and your family stuck with? Glad to see you're doing okay.

Aecopelan10 karma

Luckily my mom works for the school system so we had pretty good coverage. Not sure exactly how much we were stuck with in the end nor the total costs. We had to pay for some of it and still have costs coming in all the time as I am constantly in doctors offices and getting prosthetics made.

chebble4 karma

Where were you at that you got this bacteria? US?

Aecopelan9 karma

Carrollton, GA

greenBaozi3 karma

Do you believe in God?

Did you receive physical/occupational therapy as you readjusted to life?

Aecopelan17 karma

I do believe in a God. Not an old man in the sky but the fundamental ground of being that we are all manifestations of. I see the universe as an interconnected system, a life force of its own.

I have received some OT but find that it makes more sense for me to figure things out as I face them. I am still in pt working on the skin grafts and painful scar tissue on my left nub ( nicknamed mrs. F) and learning to walk on 2 prosthetics.

prolapsedrectum3 karma

Do you sometimes have the feeling that you still can feel your limbs like they're there?

Aecopelan13 karma

Yes. All the time. It supposedly gets better over time and I have noticed some improvements. It's called phantom limb sensation. It's quite uncomfortable because I can't really move them and they're stuck in awkward positions.

anjuloveskafei3 karma

You are a true inspiration! Much love coming your way. What would your best advice be to someone just getting out of high school and into the world?

Aecopelan24 karma

Do what you love and not what will make you rich. Help other people as much as you can. Feed the hungry, clothe the poor, heal the sick. Love. Love. Love with all your heart. dance in the rain, plant a garden, sit quietly. and love. Most of all cherish every single moment and enjoy every last bite.

elyse_bee3 karma

glad to hear that your parents are so supportive! i heard about you in the news and was awed by your story. you're braver than most :) kudos all around! when you're in public, do people (including friends, family) treat you differently given that you're in a wheelchair?

Aecopelan14 karma

Yes. People either stare awkwardly or look right past me. Honestly though I'm usually to preoccupied to notice and I also understand their curiosity. My friends don't treat me any differently but my mom can be overly helpful at times. She just wants to help, but most of the time I've got things under control and it is slightly irritating.

oikitty3 karma

Just curious, do you have hands or feet in your dreams?

Aecopelan5 karma

At first I did. Now I do sometimes. Sometimes it changes halfway and I get somewhere by walking but then realize I have no legs once I get there. I'm into lucid dreaming so if I have legs in a dream it can sometimes trigger lucidity.

Athaza3 karma

You are beautiful! :) Sorry if it has been asked already but have you been trying prosthesis or is it not an option in your case for some reason?

Aecopelan15 karma

Just started with a left prosthesis this week. The limb is all skin graft so I had to wait for it to heal and become less sensitive.

gobulls963 karma

How do you stand it?

Aecopelan24 karma

I guess I'm not starving and I'm alive and have people that love me. People are hungry and dying all over the world. I have a purpose-- I'm here to help others, the people who have given up. If I can help alleviate the suffering of others then my pain has been worthwhile. "The world owes me nothing, we owe each other the world."-ani difranco

vintage_gal13 karma

Your story was so sad to hear. I am very happy you up and about!!! I have a couple questions; how have you managed to go about life now these days? Has your experience made you religious? I feel awkward asking this but how do you have sex now? Has this experience made your boyfriend love you even more?

Aecopelan23 karma

I have never considered myself religious but I'm very spiritual. I think that's how I've managed. I know that I'm not just a bag of skin but so much more. This body is just on loan and does not define me. My actions do. Sex really is not a priority for me now. I'm not sure if he loves me more but I just got this text from him, "our life is a drama of epic proportion and I would not have it any other way."

kelvin1943 karma

  1. How do you spend your days?
  2. Why did the prosthetic company decide to give you free prosthetics? It seems great for you, but also seems they were using this as a publicity opportunity.

Stay strong!

Aecopelan15 karma

  1. Working on school and research projects, helping with charity events, hanging with friends, media appearances, speaking engagements, physical therapy, prosthetist appointments, spending time with my boyfriend, reading books & watching Netflix
  2. I had mentioned the company and hand by name on Erin Burnett Out Front and the powers that be saw it. In exchange for the hands I am an ambassador for the company and talk to patients, help with trade shows, educational materials, and marketing. If that's what they're doing that's fine with me because their product has helped me so much and I'd like to help them get as much publicity as possible!

electric_dolphin2 karma

If you magically woke up with hands and feet tomorrow, what's the first thing you would do?

Aecopelan10 karma

Put on a bathing suit pack a backpack. Get my man and drive to tallulah gorge and hike into the gorge and swim in the waterfalls and build a fire and sleep under the stars.

MasturBateman12 karma

What do you do on an average day, to kill the time? I'd also like to say you have my deepest respect for keeping your head up and be so open to everyone after such a terrible accident. I wish you all the best Aimee!

Aecopelan10 karma

I like reading, writing, playing games, and being outside, but I'm also busy with school, research, media appearances and speaking engagements. Thanks for the kind words!

ozzakaboom2 karma

how did you type this? I'm genuinely curious.

Aecopelan4 karma

On an iPad with the bony end of my right arm

luckymac2191 karma

What do you want to do with your life?

Aecopelan9 karma

My focus has stayed the same-- ecopsychology. This is the study of the interconnections between nature and the human psyche. Now I have realized that my purpose is to bring wilderness therapy to people with disabilities. Eventually I'd like to open a holistic nature center that is totally handicap accessible and hold workshops and practice counseling. I really just want to help others who are in similar situations and do some good in the world.

Giovani421 karma

Are there some advantages to have to hands/feet?

Aecopelan6 karma

I think so. But now I can fit in smaller spaces...

But really... I'd say walking and being able to hold something while doing something else with the other hand are advantages.

DonFKennedy2 karma

I think he meant are there advantages to having NO hands/feet.

Aecopelan26 karma

Ooh. Hmm the small spaces thing. Legroom is never an issue. Save money on hand soap and pedicures. 1/2 off leg waxing. Oh, and the parking.

sundaymetakat1 karma

Have you found that most of your friends/family have been supportive? And do they treat you differently?

Aecopelan4 karma

They are all very supportive although some people I was friends with before can't handle it. I can't go a lot of places I used to so I think that is hard on them. It's no big deal, I understand and they're still my friends. My mother definitely babies me more now than she used to.

The_Modern_Pict1 karma

Well, how the hell are you typing so well?

Aecopelan9 karma

iPad. Pecking it out with one nub. Quickly.

raymitzu1 karma

I'm sure you've adapted well, but can you do this?

P.S. Sorry for the name of the film. I just think this guy is impressive.

Aecopelan1 karma

That is awesome! Also I've seen this movie many times. I have more than he does so I could light the match with my arms and hold the cig in my mouth. Not as cool as that guy's maneuver!

john101fox1 karma

How are you typing?

Aecopelan3 karma

Nub on iPad

KeenDreams0 karma

Why are you still using photobucket?

Aecopelan2 karma

The only thing I use is Facebook but I'm private so it was just a quick way to get a picture on here for proof. Just created it today.

ala-akbar-1 karma

How is that possible?

Aecopelan2 karma

Which part? Lol

DonFKennedy-1 karma

You're hot.

How do you stay skinny (exercising how.. because you look fit)?

Is your sex life different (in the most non-perverted way.. i see you've had a boyfriend since 2008)?

And I was going to ask about the changes in your finances and the money you make from people sending it and doing speeches various places.. but I don't know how to word it.. I was just curious about it.

Aecopelan2 karma

Exercising and being a vegetarian. Also thanks. Honestly I am always crawling around. My boyfriend jokes that me climbing onto my bed is a 5'10 in rock climbing. I also swim and practice walking. Sex is not really important to me now. I'm trying to focus more on helping others than pleasures of the flesh, which are fleeting. I think I still have some body issues, still getting used to how it looks. I have definitely been helped immensely by others so I am good for now financially. However prosthetics are extremely expensive so I'm not sure how long it will last.