Kingwood mother has all four limbs amputated after home birth

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by BRAD WOODARD / KHOU.com

kvue.com

Posted on April 23, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Updated Friday, Apr 23 at 10:05 AM

KINGWOOD, TX-- At the Kingwood Country Club, they were courtside for Katy.  A tennis fund raiser that served as testament to the kindness of strangers.

"I didn't know Katy," says event organizer Tanya Robinson, "but her story touched me and I had to do more."

What they did collectively, was raise $12,500 for Kingwood resident Katy Hayes, who recent wanted her third child to be born at home.

"She had a midwife, was very healthy through her entire pregnancy, working and exercising up until she had the baby," says Michelle Dykstra, a family friend.

Ten weeks ago, Katy gave birth to a new daughter, Arielle.  Soon thereafter, friends say, she started feeling pain but delayed going to the emergency room for four days.  In the end, all four of katy's limbs had to be amputated because of a Streptococcal A infection.  She's currently fighting for her life in a special unit at a Dallas hospital.

There are simply no words to explain how unfortunate the situation is, but it begs the question:  What are the risks versus the benefits when it comes to home births?

Michelle Moeller has been a certified nurse midwife since 1989.

"Infection in home birth is very, very rare," Moeller says.  "People are more accustomed to the bacteria and germs in their own home, so they're less likely to get an infection."

"That's utterly nonsense," says Dr. Joseph Salinas, who heads the Women's Center at the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.

"I'm opposed to home birth," says Dr. Salinas.  "There's too many variables to risk the mother's and baby's life in home birth."

Two health care professionals.  Two very different perspectives.  And one family struggling to redefine itself.

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