Aimee Copeland Receives New Bionic Hands After Battling Flesh-Eating Bacteria (Video)

First Posted: May 18, 2013 07:51 AM EDT

When Aimee Copeland took a trip on a homemade zip-line over the Lower Tallapoosa River last May, she had no idea that it would forever change her life. During the ride, she managed to cut her leg--and that's when the real trouble started. She developed a rare condition called necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh eating bacteria, after the wound became infected. Only 24 at the time, she battled for her life as her organs began to fail. Doctors eventually had to amputate both of her hands, her foot and her leg.

Now, Copeland may be regaining her ability to move around the house on her own. She's been outfitted with a pair of bionic hands that she can use to chop vegetables, pick up tiny items like Skittles and comb her hair.

The hands themselves can actually be controlled with Copeland's muscles. They cost about $100,000 each, but the young woman believes that the price tag is worth the ability to be able to cook on her own and do every day activities.

"I really want to start cooking," said Copeland in an interview with USA Today. "So I really want to be able to maybe make myself a yummy veggie pie or something for myself when I get home, maybe knit a hat or something."

Although the technology certainly exists to give amputees moveable limbs, the problem largely remains the price of these prosthetics. Like Copeland's new hands, these items can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Currently, researchers are trying to design cheaper and more effective ways to create prosthetics.

In Copeland's case, the prosthetics are giving her a second lease on life. She's now planning on dedicating her life to help people with disabilities, and doesn't view her own accident as a bad thing.

"I've always wanted to help people," said Copeland in an interview with Snellville Patch. "That's why I wanted to study psychology...After this happened to me, [it became obvious] that I was supposed to work with people with disabilities."

In addition to helping people, Copeland plans to finish her master's in humanistic psychology as she masters her new hands.

Want to see Copeland? Check out the video below, courtesy of USA Today.

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