Waiting For Arms

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 12:40pm

Woman who lost limbs to deadly infection set to undergo double arm transplant.

A Texas woman is in Boston for a life-changing surgery.

Quadruple amputee Katy Hayes smiled broadly on Wednesday as she was wheeled out by her doctors to announce that she is going to be the first person in the U.S. to get a double-arm transplant.

"I'm so excited, I can't tell you. I think about it all the time. Initially it'll be like meeting a new friend," said Hayes.

The 43-year-old former massage therapist from Texas had to have her arms and legs amputated after she developed a life-threatening strep infection after giving birth to her third child in 2010.

Hayes is now looking forward to having some use of her arms again.

"I want to hug my children, hug my husband, cook food and wipe my own bottom -- you know, things you guys take for granted," Hayes said.

"We're hopeful that as a result of the transplant Katy will be able to flex her elbows, which will allow her to be able to transfer to and from her wheelchair as well as perform some activities of daily living," said Dr. Bohdan Pomahac of Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Hayes said she feels like a pioneer and hopes she can be a source of hope for U.S. soldiers coming home without limbs.

"If I can be there for them and help them through their journey, that's kind of where I'm aiming to go with what's happened," said Hayes.

Hayes is now waiting for a donor.

The New England Organ Bank is conducting the search.

"I will embrace their family and thank them so much for the gift that I could hold my children again and hold my husband and maybe even do massage, you never know," said Hayes.

Hayes is living in the Boston area with her husband and two of her children while she waits for a donor.

She brought her wedding ring from Texas and she said she can't wait to put it on her finger.

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