LAS VEGAS – After an aggressive infection stemming from a rare flesh-eating bacteria stopped a 22-year-old woman’s heart for six minutes, she is making progress.
Ashleigh Cope, of Henderson, underwent an eighth surgery on Monday to cover open wounds on her body, according to a GoFundMe page launched to help pay medical bills.
“Ashleigh woke up feeling strong and determined,” according to a Dec. 10 update on the GoFundMe page. “With assistance she was able to stand and move her legs for the first time today.”
Her mother, 39-year-old Andrea Cope, said her daughter is able to communicate, but she is on a long road to recovery at University Medical Center.
“The whole experience has been devastating and horryifying,” the mother said.
After a recent medical procedure performed in Henderson, Ashleigh Cope contracted a rare flesh-eating bacteria called necrotizing fasciitis.
The bacteria usually gets into the body through a cut or scrape. It often causes a fatal infection that destroys skin and muscle.
Infection soon spread throughout Cope’s body, lowering her blood pressure and shutting down her kidneys until her heart stopped for six minutes on Thanksgiving.
The kidneys still are not functioning, her mother said.
In order to see her daughter, Andrea Cope must wear gloves, a hair cap and a mask to minimize the number of germs in the room.
Ashleigh Cope will likely remain in the hospital for the next two to six months, according to her family.
The best way to help, her mother said, is to donate to the GoFundMe.
Before the infection landed her in the hospital on dialysis, Ashleigh Cope had just started a career as a hair stylist. But she has no insurance to cover the medical bills.
As of Friday, the fundraiser generated $14,668 of a goal of $100,000 goal.
“The journey continues to have many ups and downs,” the page reads. “The family continues to be grateful for everyone’s support and prayers through this difficult time.”
Follow Ed Komenda on Twitter: @ejkomenda