Rare Form of Common Infection Ravages Mom

By Omar Villafranca
|  Friday, Mar 26, 2010  |  Updated 12:00 AM CDT
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New Mom Fights Dangerous Infection

Doctors say Katy Hayes contracted an invasive type of Strep-A

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New Mom Fights Dangerous Infection

A Texas woman is battling back from coma and a deadly infection.
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A Houston mother is battling a deadly infection that put her in a coma for a time and caused doctors to amputate her limbs.

Doctors say Katy Hayes, a massage therapist, contracted an invasive type of Strep-A that was causing organ damage and eating at her skin. The treatment is similar to burn treatments, so doctors suggested she move to the burn unit at Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

Hayes was in an intensive care unit at a Houston hospital only four days after she had her child. Four days before her child's birth, she had been doing yoga.

"By the time the first night had passed in the hospital, her kidneys had failed, her liver had failed, her lungs had failed, her heart was racing her blood pressure was tanked," said her husband, Al.

At one point, Katy Hayes was in a coma while the infection ravaged her body. Doctors were forced to amputate her arms and legs. Part of her stomach was removed.  But when she's awake, her husband makes sure he's there to support his wife.

"I remind her every time she wakes up that when we got married, we changed our vows so they didn't say ''til death do us part,'" he Al Hayes said. "They said ''til the end of time.' So when she wakes up, I always tell her, 'I'm going to hold you to that.'"

Katy and Al Hayes were both self-employed but did not make enough to cover the medical expenses they've racked up.

Friends, family members and even complete strangers back home in Houston have started fundraisers to help offset some of the costs. Al Hayes said the support has been amazing.

"It completely renewed my faith in humanity at how much love we're being shown," he said.

A Web site that lists the bake sales and auctions benefiting the couple has been set. Al Hayes also updates a blog on his wife's condition.

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