Gift of new arms for quadruple amputee mom

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on June 24, 2010 at 5:57 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 25 at 3:06 AM

HOUSTON — Katy Hayes lost both of her arms and both of her legs shortly after giving birth to her third child. The decision to amputate, made by her husband Al, was a choice he had to make to keep her alive.

Now, Hayes is using her medical challenges to inspire others across Texas.

On Thursday, she achieved a major step forward in her recovery as she was fitted for prosthetic arms.

Just last week, she was in intensive care after suffering heart failure, but Hayes said nothing could keep her from Thursday's appointment.

"Yea, big day... I get my arms!" she said.

Following the birth of her third child in February, Katy Hayes battled a flesh-eating bacteria. Both her arms and legs had to be amputated as she fought for life at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.

Four months later, Hayes' unwavering drive to be independent again is about become a bit closer to reality.

"I'm just blown away by her," Al Hayes said. "Look — she's already turning her hooks!"

After all the Hayes have been through, this is one more step forward. Even the tiny action of a nose scratch is a victory for Katy.

And now, for the first time since giving birth, her dream to hold her baby girl is finally within reach.

The prosthetics were donated by a company who saw Katy's story and wanted to help. New legs are in Katy's future too.

Her recovery is not cheap. It's estimated that all four prosthetics cost more than $250,000.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

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