Amy Purdy, 34, is an American competitive snowboarder, actress and model. She won the gold medal in the 2011 New Zealand Winter Games, and also brought home a bronze medal for America during the recent 2014 Sochi Paralympic Winter Games.
When Amy Purdy was 19, she lost both her legs in an almost fatal incident. Out of nowhere, Amy contacted a virulent form of bacterial meningitis which left her in a septic shock in less than 24 hours of getting sick. Both of her legs had to be amputated below the knee, and she lost both her kidneys and her spleen. Doctors said that she has 2% chance of survival as her sepsis was very advanced.
It was a miracle that Amy survived the traumatic experience. She went on to get her leg prosthetics, and she dove right back into snowboarding, which is something she absolutely love, after seven months of being on her (new) feet.
Subsequently, Amy competed in different national and international snowboarding competitions and won several medals. She won three back-to-back World Cup gold medals in snowboard cross, and has since become the top-ranked para-snowboarder in the country and one of America's favorite Paralympians.
Watch it now: Amy Purdy meets Ellen.
Watch Amy Purdy and Derek Hough's impressive performance on The Ellen Show.
Amy Purdy and Derek Hough spice things up on Dancing with the Stars Week 7
Amy Purdy's work in support of disabled athletes.
Amy is the spokesperson for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, a non-profit organization for athletes with physical challenges, since 2003.
In 2005, Amy and her partner, Daniel Gale, founded Adaptive Action Sports, which is a non-profit organization that "encourages youth and injured veterans with physical disabilities to pursue their interests in adaptive snowboarding and skateboarding." The organization is a chapter of Disabled Sports USA.