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Amy Purdy: Getting Creative

01 Feb 2012
There is an inspiring story we want to share today - the life and career of Amy Purdy.

As a young girl, Amy had dreamed of escaping her home town and settling in a location that suited her best - a snowy environment. There she worked as a massage therapist and enjoyed snowboarding. She had taken control of the direction her life was heading in. She asked herself 'If my life was a book, and I am the author - how would I want my story to go'.

Amy reminds us that life can take a drastic and unexpected turn. At the age of 19, Amy fell ill. She first thought that her illness was a flu virus, but within 24 hours of this, she found herself in intensive care. She had contracted Neisseria Meningitis, which attacked her blood and affected her circulatory system. She laid in a hospital bed with a less than 2% chance of survival. In a matter of moments, her life that she had worked so hard for was disappearing.

The road to recovery was bumpy, and her spleen had to be removed, she needed a kidney transplant and both her legs had to by amputated below the knee.

But Amy started to focus on what she used to love, and began training to snowboard once again.

And Amy did get creative. Her original prosthetic legs were not flexible enough for her to snowboard. Determined to see this as an opportunity, she worked with professionals to design prosthetics that would help her snowboard. Catered to her own design, Amy was taking to the slopes once again and had retained that sense of freedom she had enjoyed before her tragedy struck.

Amy has since competed in snowboarding competitions, coming third in a contest a year after her amputation. She also returned to her profession as a massage therapist and now acts a spokesperson for The Challenged Athletes Foundation, which helps and encourages people with disabilities to train for activities they love.

Amy story is one of courage, determination and inspiration. It's difficult to imagine the tragedy that befell her, when all your hard work is snapped away from you. But Amy exemplifies that our lives are not predetermined, and even in the face of adversity we can achieve the extraordinary.

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