HENDERSON, Nev. (KLAS) — A Las Vegas Valley woman who contracted a rare flesh-eating bacteria during a medical procedure at a local clinic is off a ventilator. Ashleigh Cope, 22, is now up and talking and received her first skin graft surgery on Tuesday, Dec. 10.
Cope’s family said physical therapists were able to get her up on a walker today and that circumstances are improving. While the news is good, she is still on dialysis and will require more surgeries.
The Cope family believes Ashleigh developed necrotizing fasciitis after the medical procedure.
It’s a rare bacterial condition that, if left untreated, can result in death.
Cope was diagnosed with the rare flesh-eating bacteria in November.
“She went to the doctors and later they diagnosed her with necrotizing fasciitis, and it affected her whole body from her shoulders to her toes,” said Sydney Frank, Cope’s friend.
Cope underwent the procedure at a medical clinic in Henderson. Within 12 hours, she was sick.
“It slowly shut down her organs and lowered her blood pressure and her heart rate and it eventually stopped her heartbeat for 6 minutes so now we have her on life support right now,” said Frank.
Not only had the infection spread throughout Cope’s body, her family said it affected around 40% of her skin.
“They’re going to work on skin grafting and make sure the infection is completely gone of course first,” Frank said.
Cope has undergone multiple surgeries over the past weeks. The ordeal has been a nightmare for those closest to her.
“We had no clue. We had no clue what it was before this.”
Ashleigh doesn’t have insurance. If you’d like to help her with any medical expenses, click HERE.