- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 12, 2012

AUGUSTA, GA. (AP) - A Georgia woman battling a flesh-eating disease is slowly improving and her father said Tuesday she should be out of intensive care soon.

Doctors Hospital of Augusta said Aimee Copeland’s condition has changed from critical to serious. Serious condition indicates a patient is still acutely ill and has unstable vital signs.

The 24-year-old graduate student developed necrotizing fasciitis after cutting her leg in a fall May 1 from a homemade zip line. Her left leg, other foot and both hands have been amputated.

Her father, Andy Copeland, said doctors believe his daughter should be out of intensive care and ready to move into the hospital’s rehabilitation clinic in two or three weeks.

"She’s going to have to learn to use prosthetic limbs," he said. "But the critical-care phase, I believe, has come to an end."

He said one doctor who had expected her to spend months in intensive care is "blown away by her rate of progress."

Andy Copeland said his daughter has been talking with her doctors about using meditation and other holistic techniques to manage her pain instead of drugs. He said it’s a topic she had been researching for her master’s thesis.

"She went through one of the dressing changes without any kind of pain medication at all the other day," he said. "It’s incredible. She chose to meditate through it."

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