ATLANTA -

The parents of a young Georgia woman battling a flesh-eating bacterial infection say they've learned to read lips and are now able to communicate with their daughter.

Speaking on NBC's "Today" show Monday, Andy Copeland says his daughter Aimee told them she was thirsty, and that ice cream is the first thing she wants when she's able to eat on her own.

Copeland said in online updates that 24-year-old Aimee Copeland will lose her fingers but doctors hope to save the palms of her hands, which could allow her to someday use prosthetics.

The illness has already led doctors in Augusta to amputate most of her left leg. She contracted the rare infection, called necrotizing fasciitis, after falling from a broken zip line and gashing her leg on May 1.