‘She’s beating the odds’: Las Vegas cosmetologist, 22, with flesh-eating bacteria infection that kills 1 in 3 is awake after surgery, talking and can even stand with help.
A 22-year-old cosmetologist who contracted a flesh-eating bacterial infection that stopped her heart on Thanksgiving day is awake, talking and on even on her feet with some help after being placed on life support.
After eight surgeries to remove dying tissue, Ashleigh Cope is making remarkable progress, reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Thursday.
‘She is truly a miracle and beating the odds,’ her mother, Andrea Cope, told the Review-Journal.
Ashleigh had undergone an outpatient surgery at an unidentified clinic in Henderson, Nevada, and by the Tuesday before the holiday she was clearly very ill, and was hospitalised the next day.
Doctors discovered she’d contracted the infection – formally called necrotizing fasciitis – from Strep bacteria at the site of her surgery.
She had been on life support since her heart stopped on Thanksgiving. Her family and friends were told to say there goodbyes, as her chance of survival was slim, at best, they thought.
Ashleigh was then been transferred to a nearby burn and trauma centre to give her the best shot of survival.
Her uncle, Doug Cope, described her fight as ‘hour by hour,’ he told the Review-Journal.
Last week, the Cope family got a tiny glimmer of hope as Ashleigh’s blood pressure finally stabilised.
And this week, Ashleigh has surprised them and her medical team beyond their hopes.
‘Today, Ashleigh woke up feeling strong and determined. With assistance she was able to stand and move her legs for the first time today,’ Ashleigh’s family and friends wrote on her GoFundMe page.
During a holiday week about food and festivity, Andrea Cope’s usually energetic daughter was anything but.
The night after her surgery – the family has not disclosed what kind of procedure she had done, citing privacy concerns – Ashleigh complained of pain at the surgical site.
She tried to eat but just ‘couldn’t keep anything down,’ her mother told the Review-Journal.
By the next day, it was clear Ashleigh’s wasn’t just a passing bug. She was taken to the emergency room and diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis triggered by the a strain of Streptococcus bacteria.
Bacteria enter the system through breaks, cuts or scrapes in the skin as well as through surgical sites, like Ashleigh’s.
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