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Dunwoody mom is a model for flesh eating bacteria victim Aimee Copeland

1:19 PM, May 23, 2012   |    comments
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  • This family photo was taken eight months after Becky Springer's hands and feet had to be amputated.
  • Becky Springer's feet and hands had to be amputated after she contracted a rare bacterial infection in 2008.
    

DUNWOODY, Ga. -- A Dunwoody wife and mother wants the family of Aimee Copeland to see how she recovered from surgeries to amputate her hands and feet.

Becky Springer, 44, battled a different kind of bacterial infection than Copeland, but she faced a similar outcome.

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"It's going to be a tough road ahead, but it's doable," Springer said. "It takes time and patience and love and support, of course."

Springer became very sick very suddenly just after Valentine's Day in 2008.

She was diagnosed with Haemophilus Influenzae Type B, known as Hib. Doctors still have no idea how she contracted the rare disease.

"I had to stay alive for my girls," Springer said. "They couldn't not have a mom."

At the hospital, Springer went into septic shock.

She was still unconscious when her hands and feet had to be amputated.

PHOTOS | Dunwoody mom adapts to amputations

"From the moment I kind of woke up, I never got upset," Springer said. "And that's not like me. I would have absolutely freaked out."

As a former model who once traveled the world, she took special pride in her hands and feet.

But she understood the life-saving decision her husband and doctors made together.

"It's very difficult to talk about this situation without bringing God into it," she said. "He gave me the peace in my heart that I had and still have about the situation."

Today, she uses prosthetic legs but found prosthetic hands too difficult to maneuver.

Instead, she eats and brushes her hair and teeth with cuffs that she helped design.

She can work a computer and sign her name.

"I've got all kinds of tricks," Springer said. "I'm constantly looking forward. I try not to look back, and I'm always looking to improve."

She wants to find a way to help Copleand and her family. The University of West Georgia graduate student is suffering from necrotizing fasciitis caused by a bacterial strain called Aeromonas hydrophilalost.

In Copeland's case, she was conscious and helped make the decision to amputate her remaining foot and hands.

"That takes a lot of confidence and courage," Springer said. " She's young. She's strong. She can definitely bounce back. She's got a lot of years left in her. She can live a full life. I know she can."

Springer spent three months in ICU and went through 11 surgeries, including a kidney transplant last year.

She's married with three daughters: Ashley, 13, Mary Catherine, 11, and Gretchen, 6.

Springer describes her husband Paul as a saint.

"A lot of men would have tucked tail and run," she said. "My husband has not only stepped up to the plate, but he went above and beyond. I couldn't believe it."

Springer's husband does most of the cooking, but she handles the grocery-shopping.

"I've tried my hardest to learn and do the best I can," she said.

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