Posted: 8:54 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, 2012

Aimee Copeland gets a new car

Aimee Copeland new car
Aimee Copeland drives off in her new, specially modified van.

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Aimee Copeland new car photo
Copeland contracted a flesh eating bacteria that forced doctors to amputate her hands, one leg and part of her other leg.
Aimee Copeland new car photo
The van cost $94,000 to modify. Copeland had to pass a series of motor vehicle tests in order to drive her van.

By Dave Huddleston

ATLANTA —

"I'm just so excited, I could just burst!" That's what Aimee Copeland said Friday after getting her own customized van.

It was a gift from Steve Rayman of Steve Rayman Chevrolet.

"This is really incredible. I never thought this would happen in a million years. I think most people never thought I would drive, you know," Copeland said,

Rayman said he followed Copeland's story from the very beginning. The 24-year-old was hospitalized this summer after a zip line accident.

She contracted a flesh-eating bacteria that forced doctors to amputate her hands, one leg and part of her other leg.

Her new customized van is designed specifically to her. Chris Collins of R and R Mobility modified the Honda Odyssey. He said the steering wheel, the brake and gas pedals are all customized.

Even the key to start the car was changed since Copeland no longer has hands.

"The van is customized for Aimee, but it can also be converted with ease so others can drive it," Collins said.

He said the van cost $94,000 to modify. Rayman said it was worth it.

"Her story touched me, to see such a young beautiful girl like her who needs help. It was the least I could do. I have kids, I get it," Rayman said.

Copeland had to pass a series of motor vehicle tests in order to drive her van.

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