How Did Amy Purdy Lose Her Legs?


Quick Answer

Amy Purdy’s legs were amputated below the knee in 1999 after she contracted bacterial meningitis. Because of the illness, the then 19-year-old had her spleen removed and experienced septic shock, respiratory and organ failure, loss of circulation to her extremities, hemorrhaging in her lungs and adrenal glands, and blood clots.

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Full Answer

Purdy was in a coma for nearly three weeks because of her illness. Two years after getting sick, she received a kidney from her father via transplant surgery. Weeks after her transplant, Amy won three medals in a national snowboarding competition. In 2005, Amy founded the non-profit Adaptive Action Sports for athletes with permanent physical disabilities.

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