Texas mom gets a new lease on life with first-ever double arm transplant! (VIDEO)
Going through pregnancy can be a hard task for many women as is, but imagine if in addition to the pains, you developed an infection which prevented you from holding your own newborn? Such is the case for 44-year-old Katy Hayes, a quadruple amputee and mother of three. The good news is that great things are about to come her way after doctors at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston plan on performing the first double arm transplant on her.
The Texas mom suddenly developed a flesh eating bacteria after giving birth to her third child and as a result doctors had to amputate her arm above the elbow, her legs above her knees, her uterus, and large intestines. While this may be the first double arm transplant done in the U.S., it was performed on a farmer in Germany back in 2008 and the good news is he has seen progress since then--and hopefully Hayes will too.
It's amazing how much we take our body's abilities for granted on a daily basis. We forget that there are so many people that may not be fortunate enough to walk, or have the mobility they need for everyday life. Hayes is lucky to have the opportunity to receive this new surgery although it is still risky.
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Doctors say that they aren't sure what the outcome of the surgery may be because the challenge is creating a strong nerve connection between the arm and the new hand. Therefore, it may take Hayes a long time to recover from the surgery and it is uncertain if she will regain the ability to move her arms. Although she will be treated by 40 medical professionals, the other problem also lies with nerve regrowth which only increases at about one millileter a day and the number of drugs she will have to take to prevent tissue rejection.
It sounds like it's going to be quite the challenge for these surgeons to give Hayes the gift of arm and hand mobility again, but I'm sure with patience and time, she will be able to hold her family the way she intended to. It all just shows that you shouldn't take those legs, arms, or the ability to breathe for granted because you never know when one of them can be taken away from you.
Image via Haynes Family