Katy Hayes, a 44-year-old mother, will be the The transplants will be attached above her elbows. A similar surgery was performed in Germany.
Hayes was infected by a flesh-eating bacteria after giving birth, resulting in the loss of both her arms and legs. Doctors managed to save enough nerve and muscle during the amputation of her arms to make the transplant achievable. The transplant should give Hayes flexibility at her elbows, which would make it possible for her to lift herself out of her wheelchair. They are hoping Hayes will regain hand sensitivity and fine motor skills. However, they cannot be certain of the results, since there have been so few procedures of this kind performed.
She says,”Two years ago, I walked on my own two feet into the emergency room and most of the doctors there said I would die.” Hayes says,”I have to be baby-sat, which is ridiculous. I’m 44 years old. I’m really looking forward to having my independence back. She adds, “I still feel like myself inside. I don’t think of myself as different until I look in the mirror. It’s hard to look in the mirror. It’s hard.”
The Hayes family has moved to Boston in order to be closer to the facility where the procedure and post-care will take place. Her husband left his job as a middle-school teacher to make the move possible.
Hayes’s husband posted on the families blog:
The doctors at Brigham Women’s Hospital are a wonderfully talented team, and without their research, surgical skills, and dedication, none of this would be possible. Yah, doctors! (Not often you hear ME say that!) Also, I am so proud of Katy! She has been working out, and truly doing everything she can to prepare her body for the surgeries. She even sat up, with a therapist pushing on her legs, and has scooted up to 170 feet! She has such an amazing spirit, and is still my hero.