It’s been a very busy week for Aimee and the Copeland family. On Monday Aimee had her first successful skin graft. The area of her wound, which I saw for the first time on Sunday during a dressing change, is massive. Aimee has been looking at the wound area for quite some time now, so she shelved her modesty and encouraged me to examine it. I didn’t fully examine the wound the way a doctor would, rather, I respected Aimee’s dignity and examined it the way a father would. Aimee is actually very proud of the progress she has made toward the healing of the wound and she should be.
Please allow me to elucidate a bit about the wound and the nature of necrotizing fasciitis. You might have to understand a little bit about the human anatomy to appreciate the depth and scope of the trauma that Aimee’s body has been through. Beneath our skin lies a layer of fascia, a layer of connective tissue that holds the skin to our muscle. When a person contracts aeromonas hydraphila (the bacteria that causes necrotizing fasciitis) through an open wound, the bacteria doesn’t actually “eat” the flesh, it releases a toxin that destroys skin, fascia and muscle. The surgeons who acted to save Aimee’s life were forced to remove the surface layer of Aimee’s skin and fascia layer to prevent the spread of the toxin to the muscle beneath. Unfortunately, Aimee’s leg was too far gone to save when she arrived at Doctor’s Hospital, but the quick removal of the skin and fascia on her abdomen, side and hip was a timely, life-saving exercise. It also left the massive open wound area that I mentioned.
When I saw the wound I was surprised at how clean it looked. I was concerned that I would see a grayish surface color, which would mean that the exposed