KINGWOOD, TX - A Kingwood quadruple amputee mom is now celebrating a remarkable new milestone. Katy Hayes has gone through a lot of tribulations, after undergoing life-changing surgeries, to save her from a life-threatening infection.
She figured out a way to learn to drive, even though doctors had to amputate both of her legs and both of her arms. "I'm driving! This is how I steer a car," said Hayes. Katy Hayes is ready for the next step toward independence.
Eight years ago, she had just given birth to her baby girl, when she suffered from a life-threatening, flesh-eating infection. Doctors had to amputate her legs above the knee and remove her arms above the elbow, to save her life. Katy had her husband by her side, until last year. Now that they are no longer together, she's working hard to make it on her own.
Katy had to rely on friends to get around, but yearned to drive herself. She turned to Chad Stromatt, who owns his own rehab company. He was ready for the challenge to help "this mom on a mission" learn how to drive. He modified this vehicle in a rather unusual, yet unique way. "Katy and I had been struggling that day with her arm on the wheel, and I decided that would be the perfect fit. It really took us over the top," said Stromatt.
Chad got real creative, when Katy's arms kept slipping off of the steering wheel. He says it just "came to him" while making brownies with his daughter. Katy says driving the vehicle has been just like riding a bike... her skills kicked-back in quickly. A few hours later, Katy posted this picture on social media. She did it!!! She got her driver's license.
Now she's also learning how to walk better... and for the first time... has new prosthetics with knees! "The more mobile I get, the more I get out!"
Katy is writing a book about her life's story and also holds "painting parties" in Kingwood, for up to 50 people at a time, which helps her make ends meet.
She sure hopes that our community can come together to help her get a modified van. She just borrowed one for her driving test! To book a painting party with her, she says you can reach out at email@example.com or find her at https://www.facebook.com/katy.m.hayes.