Such a moving story of a woman who beat the odds and triumphed. Amy Purdy lost her legs at the delicate age of 19, this didn’t stop her though as she went on to be an award-winning snowboarder.
At age 19, Purdy contracted Neisseria meningitis, a form of bacterial meningitis. The disease affected her circulatory system when the infection went into septic shock, and both of her legs had to be amputated below the knee, she lost both kidneys, and her spleen had to be removed. Sepsis is when an infection (any infection) causes an inflammatory response, leading to organ failure and/or clinical shock, and is a common cause of death. In Amy’s case, as with bacterial meningitis, she went into septic shock in less than 24 hours of getting sick. Doctors gave Amy only a 2% chance to survive since her sepsis was so advanced. Two years later, she received a kidney transplant from her father. Her friends now refer to her by the nickname Lucky.
Purdy began snowboarding seven months after she received her leg prosthetics. About a year after her legs were amputated, she finished third in a snowboarding competition at Mammoth Mountain. Subsequently, she received a grant from the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), a non-profit organization. Through this grant, she was able to compete in several snowboarding competitions in the U.S.
What am I grateful for…people like Amy Purdy who remind us that anything is possible. Despite great odds, Purdy is an inspiration for many as she continues to break barriers and live her dream. Catch her on Dancing With The Stars as she continues to dazzle. Enjoy!