Father says Aimee Copeland may leave hospital soon

Updated:

Aimee Copeland's father released the first photograph of his daughter since she contracted a flesh eating bacteria. (Photo courtesy ABC News)

ATLANTA - Aimee Copeland's father released the first photograph of his daughter since she contracted a flesh eating bacteria.

Andy Copeland shared the picture and new details about her dream for the future Tuesday.

For the first time in more than 7 weeks he said Aimee Copeland is back in the sunshine, emerging from what her father calls the dark days of excruciating pain.

"Aimee has a beauty in this photograph that I think goes beyond words. It's a beauty of survival and resilience," Andy Copeland said on ABC's Good Morning America.

On Saturday the Georgia grad student, who had been working on a thesis about nature therapy, was wheeled outside of the hospital.

"The look on Aimee's face was just incredible. All she could say was wow. She could smell the pine trees and feel the breeze through her hair and just the sun on her skin," Andy Copeland said.

Doctors have upgraded the 24-year-old's condition from serious to good.

Aimee has lost some of her limbs to a flesh-eating bacteria which she contracted in May.

She has since attracted the world's attention with her spirit. There's even word that Aimee could leave the hospital in a week.

"She feels the challenge will create a tremendous opportunity to help others along the way," Andy Copeland said.

Aimee Copeland tells her family she plans to finish that thesis in nature therapy and serve as her own best case study.

"She wants to be able to walk and get her master's degree in December. And you heard the word right--walk. That's what she intends to do," Andy Copeland said.

Andy Copeland said his daughter's recovery over the past few days has been nothing short of amazing.

Last Friday, Aimee told him that she didn't need any pain medication.

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