Flesh-eating bacteria victim Aimee Copeland is pleading for painkillers after skin graft surgery has left her feeling like a “patchwork quilt,” according to her father, Andy Copeland.
The Georgia student, 24, originally refused pain medications due in part to her personal convictions and graduate-school background in holistic pain management techniques. Her preferred method of dealing with the pain was meditation, but that has done little to assuage the sting of skin grafts and muscle flaps that were necessary to close a gaping wound on her abdomen and groin.
According to Dr. J. Blair Summitt, assistant professor of plastic surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., a skin graft transplant is a fairly straightforward procedure, but a painful one that often necessitates narcotic painkillers like morphine and Fentanyl for patients, ABC News reports.
“Aimee is now taking pain medication in as liberal a dose as can be prescribed. If she even dared to refuse taking it, which she wouldn’t, then the doctors would most certinaly administer it in an IV drip,” her father wrote in a blog post.
“Even so, the allowable doses of Morphine, Fentanyl and Lyrica are often inadequate to deal with the pain that Aimee is now experiencing,” he continued, adding that his daughter is now requesting medication ahead of schedule.
It was nearly seven weeks ago that Copeland sustained a cut on her calf during a fall from a homemade zip line over a west Georgia river. She was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, an infection from a rare flesh-eating bacteria. Doctors were forced to amputate her left leg, right foot and hands.
Although it hurts her to talk, Copeland managed to wish her dad a happy Father’s Day on Sunday.