Double the Trouble- Transplants Saving Lives

13 09 2012

There are many reasons why people live out their lives missing one or more of their limbs. Sometimes a serious accident occurs where it is just impossible to save. Other times it is a disease or an injury that eliminates the possibility of re-attaching that part of the body. In the case of Katy Hayes, a flesh-eating bacteria was the cause of the amputation of not just one arm or one leg, but all four limbs. 

Hayes is only 44 and resides in Texas. As a mother of three children and a career in massage therapy, she relies heavily on the use of her hands and feet. After the bacteria got a hold of her, she found herself a quadruple amputee. Living life without any arms or legs may seem unbearable, but there is hope on the horizon. Hayes was recently approved to be the first person in the United States to get not just one, but a double arm transplant.

The infection started two years ago, and doctors said she would probably not survive the ordeal. Fortunately, enough nerve and muscle was saved and the transplant is possible due to the fact that the amputation occurred about mid-bicep. If successful, the surgery will allow her to bend her elbows and lift herself out of a wheelchair. Image

Because so little has been done on research and surgeries in this field, there’s no way of determining a statistical probability that this will succeed. One similar procedure occurred in Germany, however the results were not disclosed. Being formally approved, the surgery is planned to happen soon and attempt to return to her the independence that she once had. 

There may not be many statistics on double arm transplants, but there are quite a few on amputation in general. The top four causes of amputation in the United States are congenital, cancer, trauma, and dysvascular.Flesh-eating bacteria, which is not one of the most common causes by far, is a rare infection of the deeper layers of the skin. It spreads quite rapidly and release toxins which cause destruction of the tissue. It is a serious threat, because as you can see it does so much harm to humans. 

Hayes’ surgery is being planned and we plan to follow it every step of the way. We here at Advantec support many of our clients who work in the medical fields. One of our clients, AMBUCS, even helps to create bicycles for children that enable the use of peddling with their hands so those with disabilities can enjoy the same physical joys as those without them. Many clients also work in the assisted living and personal care industries, helping people with disabilities to overcome challenges and live the life they always dreamed of. 

For more information on Katy Hayes’ case, visit her family blog. For more information on Advantec Software and how we can help YOUR organization, visit us at www.findsocialservicesoftware.com!

 

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