Doctors looking for limb donors for quadruple-amputee Kingwood mom

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 12 at 7:12 PM

HOUSTON—The Kingwood mother who lost her arms and legs to an infection after giving birth is now looking for limb donors. Surgeons at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who will perform the surgery, made the announcement at a press conference Wednesday.

Katy Hayes, 43, became a quadruple amputee in 2010 following a life threatening Group A Streptococcal (GAS) infection. She has been struggling to adjust to life without her arms and legs.

Her husband quit the job he had in Houston to take care of his wife full-time, but now she wants to do things on her own. She hopes to become the first in the nation to receive a bilateral arm transplant above the elbow.

She moved her life from Kingwood to Boston.  A team of 40, including 12 surgeons will attach donated arms where her arms used to be.

“We will match the characteristics (and) tissues from what you would match in between organs transplant donor and recipient to skeletal size,” said Dr. Bohdan Pomahac with Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The downside is that Hayes may never get to feel again, but that’s OK, she said.

“I want to hug my children, hug my husband, cook food, and wipe my bottom, I will fully get back, I have the determination to make these arms my own,” she said.

Once she finds the right donor, Hayes will have to stay in Boston for another six months, and then she can move her life back to Kingwood.  It will be a slow recovery process and doctors said it may take her about 18 months to even move a finger.

Hayes has set up a trust fund to help cover her doctors’ bills.

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