BOSTON -- It's been more than three years since Katy Hayes gave birth to her third child, Airelle, ultimately losing both arms and both legs to a deadly Strep A infection that was eating away at her flesh.
"Doctors looked at me and said I was going to die,” Hayes said.
Hayes had the will to live and for the past year, she and her family have been living in Boston, where she's awaiting a first of its kind procedure: a double arm transplant.
“It's not easy being away from home and waiting for that call to come every day,” Hayes said.
A lot can happen in a year. While waiting for that call in Boston, their home in Kingwood was burglarized more than once.
“He took sentimental items we can never get back,” Hayes said. “That really hurt us deep.”
“They took the necklace my grandfather wore though a Nazi prison and my great grandmother's ring we were going to give to our daughter,” said husband Al.
They also tried to steal Katy’s specially modified van. The break-ins occurred while neighbors were out of town during the holidays. Then on July 2, the call Katy had been waiting for -- a match.
“It turns out, the doctors decided it wouldn't be the right person for me,” Hayes said. “We had our hopes up, and they were dashed all in one day.”
The following day, the day before July 4, insult was added to injury. The family had just checked into a hotel while visiting friends in Connecticut.
“I called the front desk to say the TV wasn’t working,” Al added, “and the guy says, you know, we're really not comfortable with your wife's disability, and we'd like for you guys to check out. It was humiliating, and it was frustrating.”
Through it all, though, there continues to be hope and even humor. Katy said the first thing she plans to do when she gets her new arms is “smack my husband.”
“I'm owed a few,” Al said.
It's often said life is what happens while you're making plans. The Hayes family certainly hadn't planned on ending up here.
“So here we are. We're blessed. We're lucky. We've won the lottery, and we're still married even if she's going to hit me when she gets her arms,” Al said.
“You know it's a love tap,” Hayes said.