Hayes lost her arms and legs two years ago, when she was infected with a flesh-eating bacteria after giving birth.
“Two years ago, I walked on my own two feet into the emergency room and most of the doctors there said I would die,” Hayes said at a press conference at the hospital Wednesday morning.
“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 was a massage therapist and said the loss of her hands has been painful.
“I still feel like myself inside,” she said. “I don’t think of myself as different until I look in the mirror. It’s hard to look in the mirror. It’s hard.”
Hayes and her family moved to the area in anticipation of the transplant, which required her husband to leave his job as a middle school teacher. The Brigham is working with the New England Organ Bank to find a donor. Read more about Hayes’s story on their family blog.