(NEW YORK) -- For the first time since a rare flesh-eating infection took over her body and resulted in her hands and feet being amputated, Georgia student Aimee Copeland is breathing on her own and able to sit up for hours at a time, her father said.
Being able to sit up was "a big victory because it's something that wasn't anticipated, the doctors didn't order it. She requested it," Andy Copeland told ABC's Good Morning America in an interview Thursday night. "In my mind, it says a lot about the strength of her spirit. I think she's one step back to being her normal self."
The 24-year-old remains in intensive care at an Augusta hospital, still battling the effects of the May 1 zip-line accident that slashed open her calf. A common water-borne bacterium infected the wound.
Copeland lost the injured leg. Doctors removed her hands to prevent the spread of infection to her blood, her father has said.
Singer-songwriter Corey Durkin had been following Andy Copeland's Facebook posts, and he visited Aimee Copeland in the hospital on Tuesday. Durkin, who wrote a song for Aimee Copeland in which he called her "a Southern belle who fell down a wishing well," sat by her hospital bed and sang his songs.
She smiled, and mouthed words of thanks to the singer.
"She said she thanked him from the bottom of her heart and she really, really appreciated it, and I told her, 'Aimee, I'm going to give Corey something for you and I gave him a big hug and she smiled and said 'that really made her day,'" her father added.
Copeland said his daughter has shown remarkable fortitude and determination in the face of her devastating situation.
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