KINGWOOD, Texas — A Houston-area mom who faced a flesh-eating bacteria is now back home, but it was Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas that saved her life.
It took a drastic decision to keep her alive — the amputation of both arms and both legs.
Now Katy Hayes, 41, is starting over, and she is nothing if not candid about the situation.
"I'm unable to turn over, and my baby's got me beat! She's turning over," Hayes said.
The new mom is home now learning to live life without limbs. "I can scratch my face," she said. "I can't do anything. He's doing everything for me."
Katy is talking about her husband, Al, who is a middle school music teacher.
News 8 first broadcast their story two weeks ago, after doctors at Parkland Memorial Hospital amputated Katy's arms and legs to save her life from a flesh-eating bacteria.
After three-and-a-half months in the hospital, she returned to the family's home in Kingwood, about 20 miles northeast of Houston.
There's a baby monitor set up for 3-1/2 month-old Arielle, and another monitor for Katy.
Relatives pitch in to help feed her; she has a regimen of nine prescription drugs to help her heal; and donors have volunteered to supply prosthetic devices.
Katy envisions being able to write using a computer when she gets an artificial hand fitted. "Who knows? I'm right handed and they're giving me a lefty! So this is going to be weird," she said.
Despite an uncertain future, Katy Hayes said her husband made the correct life-saving decision — while she was unconscious — to amputate her limbs.
"I have some friends that actually told him to let me go, which really upsets me now," she said. "But I'm alive! I'm able to hold my baby. These things can be replaced."
It is a remarkable spirit for this mother of three. Being productive is what she misses the most. Her 17-year career was as a massage therapist.
Life is starting over now, but the couple is confident that the worst is behind them.
Katy has a birthday coming up on June 11; she'll be 42 years old. She is hoping to teach, write, or perhaps do both in the future.