At 19, after experiencing flu-like symptoms, Amy Purdy was rushed to the hospital in a state of septic shock. En route, she experienced respiratory and multiple organ failure which caused her to lose circulation to her extremities. When she entered into the hospital she was given less than a 2% chance of survival, put on life support and placed into a coma. After multiple blood transfusions, and the removal of her ruptured spleen, doctors diagnosed Amy with Meningococcal Meningitis, a vaccine preventable bacterial infection. Due to the lack of circulation she had suffered doctors had to amputate her legs below the knee. She later received a donated kidney from her father a week before her 21st birthday.
After going through this life-altering experience, Amy challenged herself to move on with her life and attain goals that even those who have both legs struggle to achieve.
Amy Purdy is an inspirational parathlete. Having found a passion and talent for snowboarding after both legs were amputated, Amy has achieved Paralympic success and is widely considered as one of the most commercially successful Paralympic athletes in the world. With an already successful career behind her, Amy is now booked as a speaker for a range of public and corporate events speaking on living life beyond limits and sharing how she has continually overcome adversity and continued to thrive despite her misfortunes.
Amy’s creativity, positive outlook and her never give up attitude have opened doors to many other opportunities. Outside of snowboarding, Amy has also enjoyed time on television and has become a published author. She has been a contestant on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and featured on ‘The Amazing Race’. Amy has also contributed as a celebrity judge to the 2016 Miss America competition and performed at the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Although Amy has numerous accomplishments, she is most proud of co-founding Adaptive Action Sports. Created in 2005, AAS is a non-profit organization which helps those with permanent disabilities to get involved in action sports. AAS has partnered with ESPN and runs adaptive action sport competitions at the summer and winter ESPN X Games. These events were instrumental in getting adaptive snowboarding added to the 2014 Paralympic Games.