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Giving Thanks
(From left) Donna Copeland and Andy Copeland, parents of Aimee Copeland, the Georgia woman who contracted a flesh-eating disease earlier this year and lost her limbs, and Rockdale Rotary President Ashley Roessler. - photo by Kathy Hooks

Anyone who knows Andy Copeland’s story would know how thankful he is for his daughter’s health, but Wednesday morning, Copeland came to Conyers to share a Thanksgiving message of hope that would touch any heart.

A crowd of more than 100 people gathered at the  Rockdale Rotary’s meeting at Rockdale Medical Center to hear Copeland speak about his daughter Aimee’s battle to survive after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria, which led to the loss of the 24-year-old’s hands and feet after a homemade zip-line accident in May. Although Aimee’s story received international attention, Copeland said Wednesday that it was his family’s faith that guides them through their journey.

"I just knew that God was going to deliver her from that situation,” Copeland said. “I am thankful for the outpouring of love we have had from across the country and across the world.”

Copeland said he believes there are four things that are inextricably linked — faith, hope, love and courage. He said there was a night doctors believed his daughter may not survive, but Copeland said the power of prayer and Aimee’s spirit pulled her through the night despite the odds.

“Hopelessness speaks to a current reality, whereas hope sees ultimate realities and endless possibilities” Copeland said Wednesday. “The goal of everything in our life, including suffering, is hope. Faith, hope and love combined leads to courage. Focus on the positives, know that each day is a gift from God.”

Copeland relayed Aimee’s story of triumph and resilience as a special Thanksgiving message for the Rotary Clubs of Conyers, Rockdale and Covington.