At 19, after experiencing flu-like symptoms, Amy 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. Just three months after her kidney transplant, Amy entered the USASA National Snowboarding Championship where she won medals in three events. Today, she is one of the top ranked adaptive snowboarders in the world, and was the 2014 Paralympic bronze medalist. She is the only double-leg amputee competing at the world-class level.
Amy’s creativity, positive outlook and her never-give-up attitude have opened doors to many other opportunities, including being featured in a Madonna music video, a lead actress role in an award-winning independent film and multiple creative modeling projects including a photo shoot with musician and artist Nikki Sixx where her legs were custom made from steel to look like ice picks.
Amy has evolved into a powerful inspirational and motivational speaker who has literally been seen by millions of people and invited to share her story to audiences around the world. Amy’s TED x Orange Coast talk, “Living Beyond Limits” is the number one recommended video by TED x OC to incoming TED speakers formulating their own presentations.
Amy’s story and images have been featured in numerous national and international publications, and in 2012 she and her longtime boyfriend, Daniel Gale, raced around the world on CBS’s The Amazing Race.
In May of 2013, Amy was named by the International Olympic Committee as one of the top 15 most marketable para-athletes in the world.
Although Amy has numerous accomplishments, she is most proud of co-founding Adaptive Action Sports. Created in 2005, AAS is a non-profit organization that helps those with permanent disabilities 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.
In the spring of 2014, Amy inspired millions of fans with her stunning performances on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, eventually becoming the show’s runner-up.
Amy is now in the process of launching a new clothing line in partnership with Element Eden (due out for Spring 2015) and recently completed her first book (due out in December).
Amy’s latest adventure will be sharing her remarkable story alongside Oprah Winfrey, as part of Oprah’s The Life You Want Tour. She will tour with Oprah from September through November through cities across America.
Living Beyond Limits
Amy is highly experienced professional speaker, including being a featured presenter at both TEDx and POP Tech. Her TED speech has been viewed over 1.4 million times and translated into multiple languages.
Books and Publications
On My Own Two Feet
Amy Purdy, who inspired a nation on Dancing with the Stars and has been called a hero by Oprah Winfrey, reveals the intimate details of her triumphant comeback from the brink of death to making history as a Paralympic snowboarder.
In this poignant and uplifting memoir, Dancing With the Stars sensation Amy Purdy reveals the story of how losing her legs led her to find a spiritual path. When the Las Vegas native was just nineteen, she contracted bacterial meningitis and was given less than a two percent chance of survival. In a near-death experience, she saw three figures who told her: “You can come with us, or you can stay. No matter what happens in your life, it’s all going to make sense in the end.” In that moment, Amy chose to live.
Her glimpse of the afterlife—coupled with a mysterious premonition she’d had a month before —became the defining experiences that put Amy’s life on a new trajectory after her legs had to be amputated. She wouldn’t just beat meningitis and walk again; she would go on to create a life filled with bold adventures, big dreams, and boundless vitality—and share that spirit with the world. In 2014, Amy—the only competitor, male or female, with two prosthetic legs—claimed a bronze medal for the U.S. Paralympic team in adaptive snowboarding. She then became a contestant on season eighteen of Dancing With the Stars, and viewers were captivated as the girl with bionic legs managed to out-dance her competitors all the way to the finale.
Amy’s journey is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the capacity we all have to dream bigger, defy expectations, and rewrite our stories. Amy was given a second chance for a reason—to use her life to inspire others. Her powerful memoir urges us to live life to the fullest, because we are all a lot more capable than we could ever imagine.
I wanted to reach out and say Thank You for sharing your story with us this week in Hilton Head. You were the highlight of the conference. You are a true inspiration for anyone that has faced any type of adversity in their lives and how to overcome obstacles. I shared with you that evening that I believe your next project should be a movie about your life! I see that in your future – best of luck with your next adventure and enjoy your new home!
Kelly Petrowski, Associate Director - Actavis Pharma, Inc.
On behalf of Pfizer and the entire Worldwide Innovation Team, we wanted to thank you for joining our 6th Annual Innovation Conference last week. Your inspiring story really resonated with the audience, and there was considerable positive feedback afterward. It was nice to hear colleagues discussing how
knowing our obstacles is gift and an opportunity to take us to places we never expected. Your life story really underscored the necessity and benefit of innovation in a way few others could express.
Thank you so much for being with us, and best of luck with all your future adventures.
Anthony Palkovic, Director, WW BAI - Pfizer Oncology
Booking Amy Purdy for your event is easy. Here is the information you need to know:
* $50,000 for U.S. appearance
* Travels from Las Vegas, Nevada
To check on Amy Purdy's availability for your event, please call Jaki Baskow at 702.547.5101 or send an email to info@lasvegasspeakersbureau.