HOUSTON (CBS Houston) — A Texas woman will be receiving the first ever double-arm transplant.
Katy Hayes, who lost both her arms and legs from a Strep A infection following the birth of her third child, will be getting the surgery at Brigham Women’s Hospital in Boston sometime this summer.
“Before I was kind of dependent, laying there, not seeing really the kind of light at the end of the tunnel,” Katy Hayes told KHOU-TV. “And now I’ve got that light, and I’m just charging ahead. Because it’s within my reach. It’s going to happen.”
The Houston Chronicle reports that the procedure will take up to 15 hours to complete.
“I’ll be their guinea pig,” Katy Hayes told the Chronicle. “But I’ll also be that pioneer in a new world who can one day talk to others about having transplants.”
Her husband, Al Hayes, believes it will cost around $200,000 to travel and stay in Boston and to help pay for her therapy following the surgery.
“I think about things like feeling her arms around me, or feeling her touch my hair,” Al Hayes told KHOU. “I’m looking forward to her rediscovering the joy in simple touch.”
The couple has held numerous fundraisers to raise money, including starting the Katy Hayes Fund to donate money.
Katy Hayes – who was left in a coma for a month following the infection – wonders about the donor who will have to give her life to make the transplant happen.
“It’s just weird to think she’s alive right now,” Hayes told KHOU. “She’s going to have to have an accident, be brain dead. And then the family’s going to decide to pull the plug. Then my doctors will swoop in and say, ‘How about giving her a second life? How would you feel about giving her arms to this lady?’”