Posted by on Dec 24, 2012 in ANDY'S BLOG WITH UPDATES | 55 comments

It has now been seven months and twenty days since I received that fateful phone call from the Carrollton, GA emergency room. Our family came face-to-face with a villain called necrotizing fasciitis and that villain tried to steal our daughter’s life away. We fought that thief with the only thing we knew; a heap of love and the power of prayer. The result has been nothing short of miraculous.

 

One of the first media interviewers I met asked me, “how do you  deal with this horrific tragedy?” I was a bit surprised at the question, mainly because I did not and I still do not consider our situation to be a tragedy. Sandy Hook is a tragedy. The senseless loss of life that shook our country on December 14th is something that cannot be imagined. Our enemy, a rare bacterial infection, was nothing compared to the hate of a mad gunman. Our hearts mourn the losses of those families and our prayers will forever remain with the survivors.

 

As I told that reporter, our situation is a demonstration of the power of love. The way we see it, God’s love permeated not only the cities and communities around us, but it engulfed the entire world. Letters came from Asia, Europe, Australia, North and South America, all saying that Aimee had been lifted up in prayer. Complete strangers felt like lifelong friends, lifelong friends felt like family and our extended family was akin to the warmth of the womb.

 

The media became our instant allies during Aimee’s recovery. I believe the media was instrumental in perpetuating the circle of love that surrounded us. Even at the height of the media frenzy, none of us were blind to the fact that a strange aura of love encapsulated our family. It was this “prayer bubble” that kept us going. We immediately made a commitment to put the past behind us. There was nothing that could change the events that had transpired. History had been written. Our only purpose was to focus entirely on the present and ensure that Aimee received whatever she needed to survive her ordeal. As for the future, we placed that squarely in God’s hands.

 

We were extremely blessed to have Aimee in the care of the best team of surgeons and doctors I had ever met. As someone who grew up very close to the medical profession, I knew a good doctor when I saw one. I kiddingly nicknamed one Patch Adams and another House. Although their personalities varied, they all had one main concern and that was the life of our daughter. They served as further proof of what a beautiful world we live in.

 

The community drew even closer to our side as Aimee gradually recovered. The community leaders of our awesome city of Snellville rallied to our aid and pronounced “Aimee’s Weekend”. The city leaders raised funds that would later be used to purchase an elevator in our home. My good friend, architect Rob Ponder told me that he would see to it that Aimee would return home to an environment that met her new needs. A local general contractor, Casey Moon, stepped up and volunteered to head up the mind-numbing construction project. Then the cavalry arrived in the form of Stephen Haines and Ryan Lewis of Pulte Homes. Pulte proceeded to build an incredible addition to our home that perfectly suited Aimee’s unique needs. Others came forward to volunteer their services. The outpouring of love and compassion from folks near and far was staggering to behold.

 

Now it’s Aimee’s turn to amaze and she hasn’t disappointed. She has been reaching out to others who are having a difficulty making adjustments to their disabilities. She headed up a fund raising event to support Wellspring Living, a foundation that helps get troubled teens off the street and back into school. We have additional events planned for 2013, and we are all enthusiastic about ways we can make the world a better place.

 

Aimee is doing very well. She has been forced to delay her thesis for another semester, mainly because the Colorado-based Wilderness on Wheels program has gone into a winter shutdown. Aimee wanted to research this program to gather ideas for her thesis. Unfortunately, the Grant, Colorado park will be closed until mid-April. We will head there in the spring time so that Aimee can study the program and see how it fits with her objectives. In the meantime, Aimee continues her physical therapy two days a week, she is also taking yoga classes and going through the process of getting fitted for a first time prosthetic for her left leg. This all creates a maddening schedule for her as she shuttles about from Atlanta, to Carrollton and up to Buford. It seems that Donna and I rarely see her. Thank goodness for the van that Steve Rayman so graciously presented to her. Without that, I don’t know what any of us would have done.

 

I might add that Aimee is an excellent driver. She is patient and careful, the hallmarks of any good driver. I enjoy riding with her because I am actually more relaxed than when I’m driving. I do worry about her driving at night, mainly because of the overpopulation of deer in our area.  It isn’t unusual to see fresh roadkill on the way to work the next morning. In fact, one of Aimee’s friends hit a deer one night as he returned to Atlanta after a visit. Such is life in the suburbs.

 

We are truly blessed to have run the proverbial gauntlet this year and come out on the other side. Granted, we are not unscathed, but our spirits are resilient and we shall overcome this and any other obstacle placed in our way. After all, obstacles are only opportunities to demonstrate our trust in God’s power and strength. With that, how can we possibly lose?

 

Just as our neighbors joined hands in prayer in our front yard back in the month of May, I want you all to join with us in the love that we share for our blessed country and our fellow countrypersons. We’ve seen firsthand the incredible love that a world can give. Love is alive, there is much to be hopeful about and you can have faith that prayers are answered. Christmas is a time for us to celebrate the birth of our Savior and it is with a strong spirit of celebration that I share this message of hope with you. God bless you all and I hope you enjoy the merriest of Christmases. I know we will.

Andy

55 Comments

  1. 12-24-2012

    Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you all! Thank you again for teaching us all what courage and love, and the power of prayer can do within a family, a community and a world! Peace.

    • 12-24-2012

      You said it perfectly!

  2. 12-24-2012

    I was thinking the other day about Aimee and how she was doing, and I just received the answer. God is great, your letter is an inspiration to us all. May God continue pouring His blessings on Aimee and the family.

    Merry Christmas and the best in the New Year!

  3. 12-24-2012

    Great News to read today! As I wrote you way back in the beginning, this also happened to my wife almost 20 years ago. Though she is no longer with us in physical presence she also demonstrated such courage and determination as does Amy. good job, Carry on and Merry Christmas

  4. 12-24-2012

    I have followed Amy’s story from the first time I saw it on TV. I have prayed for her and all of her family and I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  5. 12-24-2012

    Thank you for the wonderful update, Andy. I followed your blog during Aimee’s time in the hospital. So grateful to hear she is doing well. She is an inspiration to the world.

    Blessings to you and your family this holiday season.

    Wendi Petrone
    Greenville, SC

  6. 12-24-2012

    Glad ur all healing. I feel the same way after several surgeries at this time last year. I was so drugged up I slept through Christmas in a hospital. This year, scarred but alive and well. God bless u guys. From NH

  7. 12-24-2012

    Hi Andy…WE hope you and your family have a great Christmas and a happy healthy New Year. We are so thankful for your friendship and so glad that Aimee is doing good. Love to all of you. Diane & Ray

  8. 12-24-2012

    She is a wonderful example to those who whine “poor me”. Some times I feel like that as after a normal life and accomplishing a successful marriage, a nursing degree,and three wonderful sons, I began to show signs of weakness. In 1994, after a fall, I was diagnosed with ALS. Thanks be to God, it was a mis-diagnosis. How ever my Inclusion Body Myositis has slowly robbed me of my freedoms. I fight to maintain my mobility and as I said earlier, there are times I want to give up. But thanks to Aimee, I look in the mirror and say, “come on, you can do it”. My very warm wishes for a Peaceful and Healthy New Year! MJD

  9. 12-24-2012

    Bless you all this holiday season! We are so happy to see Aimee thriving and moving forward giving the ordeal she’s been through.. She is one tough cookie. You’ve raised one tough warrior in your daughter. Congratulations to you both as parents and to Aimee for surviving and thriving and sharing this journey with the public. You all are inspirations.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Years,
    Brian and Lora Reeder

  10. 12-24-2012

    Thank you Andy for your update. I am so pleased to learn Aimee is doing well. Your family is amazing. I do believe the power of love and family is the most powerful, and your family is certainly blessed. You are so so correct about a tragdy. Sandy Hook Elementary School is the most terrible tragedy. My heart breaks for the families and friends of the innocent victims. I even feel compassion for the killer’s brother and father. How horrible for them to have to live with what their family member did. Also a young man lost his mother. Aimee is a triumph. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. God is always with you. Love, Helaine from San Pedro, CA

    • 12-25-2012

      Yes Helaine, the family of the gunman are also in our prayers. It is unfortunate that they will have to bear the shame and infamy of what their family member did. We know none of this is their fault and I hope and pray that they will be able to put this horrific tragedy behind them.

  11. 12-24-2012

    Merry Christmas and God Bless you and your family.

  12. 12-24-2012

    I am so very glad to hear that Aimee is doing so well. Your family continues to be an inspiration to all of us following your blog. My wish to you is a very blessed Christmas and a wonderful new year. Thank you so much for allowing us into your family this past year. God bless you all.

  13. 12-24-2012

    Hi Andy – What a great story to share on Christmas. I am so happy to hear how well Aimee is doing. I was interviewed recently for a magazine article and one of the questions was who inspires you? I answered Aimee Copeland.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. Best wishes for a beautiful new year.

    Janet C. Hart
    Charlotte, NC

  14. 12-24-2012

    Merry Christmas Aimee!

  15. 12-24-2012

    So happy to hear Aimee is doing so good. With amazing parents and amazing God you can’t go wrong!

  16. 12-24-2012

    This testimonial is truly a Christmas blessing. Thank you Andy for sharing this! I was just wondering a few days ago how Aimee was doing and am so happy that she continues to make progress. I pray for continued recovery and courage as we go into the new year.

  17. 12-24-2012

    Merry Christmas and God Bless!

  18. 12-24-2012

    You Geaux Amy!! May God continue to show you His blessings and your light shine like a beacon in the lives of everyone you meet along your journey!

  19. 12-24-2012

    Beautiful note, and wonderful to hear all of the updates.
    Merry Christmas from our home to yours.
    Keep blogging, your words and faith are poured over us and returned to you.
    Namaste’ and ((hugs )))
    Suzanne

  20. 12-24-2012

    I want to say “Merry Christmas “. It is a terrible disease. I’m dealing with it 19 months and 10 days.
    I got alot of support from family. Family is the what Christmas is about. That’s what I am grateful and that is my gift. Enjoy every day.

  21. 12-24-2012

    Blessing to your family at this Christmas season. So glad to hear Aimee is getting some independence and continuing to be upbeat. ALL things work together for good. God is good. Wishing you all a healthy, happy new year. LE

  22. 12-24-2012

    Merry Christmas to the Copeland family

  23. 12-24-2012

    What a beautiful family you are! The courageous woman you raised is proof of that. The strength and positivity you’ve shown to the world is an example for us all to live by. We’re all so happy that Aimee is still here to enjoy another Christmas and many more holidays to come. Love to you all :) Diana Harris

  24. 12-24-2012

    Merry Christmas Aimee, I’m so happy to hear you are doing well. You are a miracle to each one of us. Praise God, for the inspiration you and your family share, we feel blessed to know you even though we have never met. God bless you and your family.

  25. 12-24-2012

    Merry Christmas, so glad your doing better your strength and determination gives us all the courage to face the difficult obsticles in life that come at us. May GOD bless you as you recover. Ed

  26. 12-24-2012

    Awesome inspiration to others! God bless this family.

  27. 12-24-2012

    Merry Christmas Aimee. You are an amazing woman. You have taught me that I too can be strong with my disease and fight, not let it get me down. Hope you a great Christmas and New Year.

  28. 12-24-2012

    Thank you for updating us about Aimee…was thinking about her the other day and was wondering how she is doing…. She has been in our prayers!! :0)

  29. 12-24-2012

    Thank you so much for the update. It is always so good to hear your encouraging words. God bless. We continue to pray for all of you.

  30. 12-24-2012

    I’m so glad to read this update. Aimee has be such an inspiration and unbeknownst to her, the strength she showed was an example to me as I fought breast cancer this year. I’m cancer free, and Aimee is recovering well too. Life is good. Thank you, Aimee. Merry Christmas!!!

  31. 12-24-2012

    Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas.

  32. 12-24-2012

    I have been energized by Aimee’s persistant progress and faith through this terrible ordeal. May God continue to bless you all in Aimee’s recovery. She is always in my prayers xxx

  33. 12-24-2012

    I ‘m glad to hear that you are mending and hope that your recovery is swift. This time next year,God willing,you’ll be jumping with joy, as well you should. Your a very brave and courageous young lady and the world is a better place for you having shown us older generation the true meaning of faith. MERRY CHRISTMAS & may GOD keep you safe and bless you for many many years to come.

  34. 12-24-2012

    Just wanted to take a moment to send a wish for a “Merry Christmas and a Blessed, Happy New Year.”
    I have not heard much about Aimee but I just wish to say, she is one heck of a fighting young lady or warrior if you wish and she is just amazing. I am so very impressed by Aimee and hopefully you won’t mind but I would ask that you give her a Big Hug and a kiss for me and let her know that she is still in my thoughts and prayers as are all of you that make up her own personal support group. God bless you all.

  35. 12-25-2012

    Que mas proposito de celebracion que poder disfrutar una navidad con los seres que te aman y estuvieron siempre a tu lado motivo de felicidad el poder ver y disfrutar nuevamente lo que es la vida y el amor que Jesus tienen con sus hijos .Desde un rinconcito de mi Kioskito Cafe Jataka en aguada Puerto Rico te deseamos mucha salud y positivismo y sobre todo FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!!!!

  36. 12-25-2012

    Andy, I have been a truck driver since the mid nineties. Touching on your concern for the deer in your area may I suggest this. Many don’t believe these things work but I do by experience. Get those deer alerts that are sold in the auto stores and auto sections at department stores and install them to Amiees van carefully following the instructions. I drove well over 100,000 miles a year on a deer infested highway for years and never hit a deer with them on my truck. The only time I came close was when my company surprised me with a new Freightliner when I came to work which I drove that night. I didn’t have a chance to put deer alerts on it, and my old rig was already returned to the lease company. Well that night I almost hit two at one time going through the city of Utica NY of all places. As you can imagine, I promptly installed a new set on that tractor before my next trip and put over 200,000 miles on that truck deer free. Do it. No guarantee, but a lot of peace of mind.

    • 12-25-2012

      I’ve heard of those. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll go get a set for each of my ladies.

  37. 12-25-2012

    Andy,how I did enjoy reading this! Thanks for posting. The way you and your family have glorified your Lord has blessed so many people. I am so happy for Amiee with her love for life and plans for her future!! I continue to thank my Lord at every rememberance of you all!

  38. 12-25-2012

    Thank YOU for sharing and for helping to restore my faith in the world. Because of the recent horrific tragedies, I started to question what kind of world we live in. Your words told me that the world is a good and kind place. May 2013 be a special year for your family. You are truly amazing. God has a special place in his/her heart for you and for those who helped Aimee and your family on your journey.

  39. 12-25-2012

    You are amazing, Amy, and I can see that this is due to her being from an amazing family. May God always bless you. We pray for you everyday in my household. You don’t know us, and we know you only through media and facebook. You are an inspiration. God is great and you show us that everyday!

  40. 12-25-2012

    So happy to hear that Aimee is doing so well. After getting to know her through your posts, I’m not surprised that she is already trying to help others. I saw her on TV and was amazed by her progress and upbeat attitude – she is an inspiration! I do hope that you, Andy, will write a book about the experience from your point of view. I believe it would help many people struggling through a crisis. I wish you and your incredible family a very Merry Christmas!

  41. 12-25-2012

    I have a thought for Aimee on this Christmas day. Since I read about the accident I have been visiting your blog regularly throughout the year to hear from her. Thanks for sharing news, I’m glad she’s getting better and wish her all the best for the new year. Merry Christmas and blessings to her and all the family!

  42. 12-25-2012

    God bless you all! Merry Christmas!

  43. 12-26-2012

    Daily, since September, I have hoped there would be an update on Aimee. Behold, a very inspirational message from you has been posted! It is great to hear of Aimee’s progress. Life is good, may not always be as we wish but your family has embraced the tragedy and touched many others. My prayers continue for you and the family. Blessings to all of you.

  44. 12-26-2012

    Andy thank you for the update. God is always there, your story will certainly help others to know he is there and does answer when called. God bless your family and we know he has arms wrapped around not just Aimee but all of you. Bob and Carol

  45. 12-27-2012

    Your family is living the words of Proverbs 3, 5-6 TRUST IN THE LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all y9our ways acknowledge him and he will driect your paths. GOD Bless your family.

    Lisann

  46. 12-27-2012

    Andy, so good to hear about Aimee’s progress. She is in our thoughts and prayers. I’m so thankful for how God carries us through our darkest times and leads us to greater things. As you know from my previous sharing this past year we’ve had our share of trials in our own family with an NF infection in my arm and my wife’s severe leg injury. But through it all we are blessed. My wife still faces a long road ahead to work toward regaining function of her leg and ankle, but I trust that we have been guided in connecting with surgeons who are able to provide the ultimate leading edge of medical developments to help her.

    I trust that your family had a very blessed Christmas and I wish you all the very best in the coming year.

  47. 12-27-2012

    I NEVER HEARD OF AIMEE’S STORY UNTIL I JUST READ IT ON THE INTERNET RIGHT NOW. TODAY IN 2008 A FRIEND OF MINE PASSED AWAY AND I WAS FEELING REALLY SAD BUT AFTER READING ABOUT AIMEE I KNOW GOD WILL GET ME THROUGH IT. THANK YOU FOR TALKING ABOUT JESUS AND TAKE CARE.

  48. 12-27-2012

    I just want to say what an inspiration Aimee and her family are to all people. God is truly LOVE who permeates through culture/color lines. This testimony just proves God is alive and STILL performing BIG miracles(the daily miracles are so often overlooked). I did not grow up in the picturesque surroundings that many may have but the “hood” did have its moments thus I know God is LOVE in the “hood” as well as in the picturesque surroundings. God Bless you Aimee and your natural family and now you have an addition to your spiritual family as well.
    Always praying for ya!
    Traci

  49. 12-27-2012

    I stumbled upon Aimee story today. I am not consistant watching the news so I did not hear about Aimee’s challenge, however I have been truely touched in hearing about God’s extended hand on your lives. What a wonderful testimony of the love and power of God. So many times we hear about miracles but we never find out the “real story”. I praise God for your diligence in sharing. This is a true witness!!! I pray our Father’s continuing hand to lead and guide you through your journey.

  50. 12-27-2012

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you Andy and your family. I am so glad Aimee is doing great and letting everyone know on how things are going.You are correct when you said Hope is Alive!! Thank the Lord for his son’s birth on Christmas Day, Happy Birthday Jesus!!God Bless you and your family. Aimee Thank -you for what you are doing to keep hope Alive to others.

  51. 12-29-2012

    Merry Christmas to you and all the Copelands!
    Thank you for the update, and thank God Almighty for His loving hand that brought Aimee out of this difficult situation. Amazing story.
    Aimee would surely agree this was a tough ordeal but what a blessing to have a believing family ready to support her.
    May I be so bold as to suggest one word of caution? Yoga and Christianity are not compatible, and I say that because so many today do not think of Yoga as a religious practice, but it is. As I have been told, the postures themselves are “prayers” of sorts, but it is of course not postures designed to worship or connect with Jesus Christ. That is the concern. These practices are now in public schools and so common that many would shake their heads and say this is to make something out of nothing. But some things are indeed “something”, even if people don’t know about it.

    God bless all of you in 2013! Onward and upward! We look forward to hearing what all Aimee will be doing in the New Year!
    with love from Connecticut….

  52. 12-30-2012

    Dear Aimee,

    Greetings and blessings from France, i read from day one your story and was astonished and proud of how much love and pray can help and provide the strength needed to recover and fight for life and more.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for you, thanks again many times to you and your family to show the world what is the best on earth : true love.

    Blessings to all of you and to all helping you.

    Philippe

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