Flesh-Eating Bacteria Victim, Aimee Copeland, Tells Her Story to Katie Couric

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This summer, there were frequent, urgent headlines about the precarious fate of Aimee Copeland: a Georgia grad student who suffered an injury in a zipline accident that subsequently became infected with a rare flesh-eating bacteria. On Tuesday, a recovering Copeland was able to discuss her ordeal in her own words on Katie Couric’s daytime talk show Katie.

“I love life, it’s a beautiful thing, it’s something that I don’t take for granted anymore,” Copeland said after walking across the stage to take a seat across from the host. “Seeing a sunrise, the ocean…it’s so exhilarating, even more so now, it’s like the senses are so deepened.”

The disease, called necrotizing fasciitis, kept the 24 year-old in a hospital for months and resulted in the amputations of both of her hands and feet. “My entire leg was a dark purple color,” she told to Couric, according to ABC News. “I wasn’t able to walk. I wasn’t able to speak. The only thing I was able to babble was, ‘I think I’m dying.'”

And she was very much in critical condition. As her father, Andy Copeland, wrote in updates on a blog devoted to his daughter, Aimee went from a perilous state (In May, he was told she “might not survive the night”) to recovering enough to be released from a Georgia hospital to a home rehab facility in early July. “This is something that’s continuous, she doesn’t really reach a plateau when it comes to her relearning her abilities,” said Andy Copeland to Couric.

Speaking of relearning her abilities, Aimee also shared on the program that she is planning on retaking her driving evaluations–which will come in handy because she also received a donated van that was specially retro-fitted to be compatible with her prosthetic limbs.

MORE: Necrotizing Fasciitis: The Flesh-Eating Disease One Georgia Grad Student Is Fighting