Kingwood mom who lost limbs after childbirth is 'so grateful'

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by Janet St. James / 11 News

khou.com

Posted on May 13, 2010 at 10:19 PM

Updated Saturday, May 15 at 12:36 PM

DALLAS -- A Kingwood mother who suffered a streptococcal A infection that required all four of her limbs to be amputated says she’s grateful to be alive.  

It happened after Katy Hayes gave birth to her third child at her home on Feb. 10.

Hayes had a rare case of group A strep, a bacterium found in the throat and on the skin.  It's common, but typically causes only mild illnesses like a sore throat or a skin infection.

Hayes says giving birth was the last thing she really remembers before a shocking realization.

“Waking up in the hospital with no arms and legs, and going, ‘What's going on here?’ she said. “And then he tells me, 'And his story will knock your socks off.'  Because I had no idea I was going through all that.” 

Hayes was unconscious the entire time, unaware that a common strep A infection had set in and was eating away at her body. Unaware of the incredibly difficult decision her husband made to amputate her arms and legs in the hopes, of maybe, saving her life.

 "I decided that I loved her so much that the risk was worth it,” her husband said. “And if we came out and I had to spend a lifetime taking care of her, that the risk was worth it to say that I didn't give up on her. Right?  She's my best friend."

At first, he said he wondered if she'd forgive him and wondered if she could have a full life, without a full body. There is no doubt now.

"It's a complete miracle that I'm alive.  So I'm so grateful.  I'm so grateful,” she said. “I wouldn't be here for my kids, if they wouldn't have taken my arms and legs."

Hayes says she has a life and lives worth living for.

"I've got 3 beautiful children so I'm doing good," she said.

Hays says she will one day learn to walk, perhaps at the same time as her baby girl.

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