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Katy Hayes, the quadruple amputee who was treated at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, is finally back at her home in Kingwood, near Houston.

Hayes battled a flesh-eating bacteria for months after giving birth to a baby girl. Her husband, Al, had to make the agonizing decision for surgeons to amputate her arms and legs in order to save her life.

The Hayes have three children, ages 16, six, andthree months.

I don't know how I'm going to do everything, Katy said in a recent interview. I'm going to have to buy me some good arms and legs. I was a massage therapist, and all my clients are wishing I could come back and work on them. So I'm working on it.

Hayes' extraordinary spirit has prompted an outpouring of good will.

What tugged at my heart was when she said she couldn't hold the baby, said Paula Marchisio, who is herself an amputee. I called Ted up and said, 'We need to help Katy out.'

Marchisio convinced her boss, who makes prosthetics, to donate new arms and legs. Artificial limbs would otherwise cost the Hayes tens of thousands of dollars.

She'll be chasing after the kids and everything soon, you know, says Marchisio said.

A wheelchair-ready van was also donated to make travel easier for the Hayes family.

To make their lives better, says Chris Moodley, an auto repair owner who is updating the van's electronics for the Hayes, That's what I'd like to do.

Such unsolicited support from strangers will make life better for a brave mother, happy to be alive, and ready to face immense challenges.

It's a miracle, I'm telling you, Katy Hayes said.

E-mail: jstjames@wfaa.com

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