Double arm transplant OK'd for Texas woman

Sept. 12, 2012 at 9:22 PM

BOSTON, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- A Texas woman who lost both arms to flesh-eating bacteria has been approved for a double arm transplant, doctors in Boston said Wednesday.

Katy Hayes appeared at a news conference with doctors at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, The Boston Globe reported. She would be the first patient in the United States to undergo the procedure, although it has been carried out in Germany.

Doctors told reporters if the surgery is successful Hayes will be able to bend her elbow and carry out tasks such as getting out of a wheelchair. They said they were still unsure if she would be able to perform more exacting tasks with her hands.

"I have to be baby-sat, which is ridiculous. I'm 44 years old," Hayes said. "I'm really looking forward to having my independence back."

Hayes, who was formerly a massage therapist, said the experience has been painful. Her husband gave up his job as a middle-school teacher to move to the Boston area with her for treatment.

The hospital is searching for a donor.

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