Quadruple amputee mom learns to walk

HOUSTON Katy is now mobile.

"I'm independent," she said. "I can make this thing go wherever I want it to."

She can drive her motorized wheelchair anywhere. But what she really wants is to walk. And she is, with tiny steps on two narrow poles. But it's walking.

Al Hayes had not seen his wife walk since she nearly died from flesh-eating bacteria and had to undergo quadruple amputations to save her life.

"First time I'd seen her walk," he said. "Yeah it's amazing. I mean, it's all little steps toward progress."

Katy hopes a three-week intensive inpatient stay at TIRR will speed up her walking. And she can't wait for her kids to see her walk.

"They're all dying to see me do it," Katy said. "My son's just like, 'You're walking.'"

"She's amazing," said Dr. Danielle Melton, director of the amputee program at TIRR. "The last time she came into the clinic and she's not taking any pain meds."

She is much more proficient with the prosthetic arms, which she's had longer. So for the next two weeks, Katy will continue the tough rehab until she can go home and be the independent mom she used to be. Then she and Al Hayes have a weekend getaway coming up.

"We haven't had a date night like that...ever!" she said and laughed. "Eleven years of marriage that's terrible.

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