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Mom shares story of amputation, survival

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's a story you won't forget. It began with a joyous childbirth. Days later, Katy Hayes was fighting to survive flesh-eating bacteria.

After three months in a Dallas hospital, Katy has come home to Kingwood. Now, she's sharing the story of her amputations and survival.

"I gave birth to her, and then I was sick, and I don't even remember those days with her," Katy said.

Days after, the healthy 9 pounds, 13 ounce baby girl was born, but her mother almost died.

"I started to get black on the end of my fingers and toes, and it just moved up quick," Katy said.

It started with invasive Group A streptococcal disease and turned into flesh-eating bacteria.

"Where the heck did I get it? I have no idea," Katy said.

To save her life, Katy had to have both arms and both legs amputated.

"To wake up in the hospital and go, what happened? It was like I was in a train wreck or something," she said.

It was her husband, Al Hayes, who broke the news.

"I don't remember him saying I didn't have legs, and so when I went into a bath, they scrubbed me down, I said, 'You didn't get my feet,' and she said, 'Honey you don't have any feet.' And I just went, 'Oh my God!' That was...awful," Katy said.

Her uterus and large intestine were also removed. And she still has open wounds on her body.

Katy spent three months in the hospital, but she survived.

"Besides prayer and my husband, the only reason I'm alive is because I was in good shape," Hayes said. "I mean, they said I had complete heart failure, liver, kidney -- all of them failed -- and my inner strength came through, and I was able to overcome this," Katy said.

"I have to say, though, as much as I wish it wasn't the case, the loss of the limbs, it's nice that we spend a lot of time together," Al said.

Together, she and Al will make what they call a new normal life.

"I wish I could hold her," Katy said of her new baby. "She's a gift. She's so good. And she just laughs and smiles all the time," she said.

The story doesn't end here.

Coming up on Wednesday at 6pm, we hear more from Al, the agonizing moment he was forced to make the decision to amputate her limbs, and how through this tragedy, their love and marriage has been renewed.

The Hayes family has set up a website so you can follow Katy Haye's progress and find out ways to help the family. There are a number of fundraisers and benefits already planned.

(Copyright ©2014 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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