Amy Purdy was a young 19 year old girl who had her entire life in front of her. She had qualified as a masseuse and was ready to take on the world, travelling and doing more of what she loved, namely snowboarding which she did every single season.
One evening, while at home with her parents, her mother came into the room and told her and her sister that a family friend who Amy knew and who had recently been very ill, had just found out that he had to have both of his legs amputated.
She was shocked. She remembers talking to her sister about this later that night and they discussed how awful it was. She recalls saying to her sister…”if that were me, I would wheel myself to the edge of a cliff, and just go over it”.
Change comes knocking on the door…
A few weeks later, Amy came home one evening after a long day at work. She felt exhausted and had been feeling unwell all day, like she was fighting a bad flu.
She realised that she had a high temperature and went straight to bed. She awoke however feeling a bit better and went into work.
Later that afternoon the feeling struck again. She felt terrible and went home straight to bed and fell into a deep sleep until she was awoken by a ‘voice’ telling her to ‘get up…get up and look in the mirror’.
She moved her feet around the bed, placed them on the floor and stood up. She realised then, that she couldn’t feel her feet at all. When she looked down at them she could see that they were purple. She then looked up and into the mirror, as the voice had told her to, and could see that her nose, cheeks and chin were also purple.
At that moment, Amy’s cousin burst into the room. Amy’s mother had called her and asked her to check on her as she was worried. She cried ‘Amy it looks like you are dying’.
A 2% chance of survival…
As soon as Amy arrived at the hospital she fell into a deep coma. Her lungs had collapsed her veins had collapsed and she was given a 2% chance of survival.
Amy had contracted bacterial meningitis, a severe disease that can quickly cause death due to its aggressive nature and ability to rapidly spread to your main organs via your blood stream, causing other complications along the way such as septicaemia. Amy’s body was fighting, but her family were told to expect the worse.
Seeing the light….
Amy was rushed into surgery as it looked like her spleen was haemorrhaging. On the table, she recalls sensing being cut open, followed by feeling her thumping heart beat which grew stronger until it took one last, almighty thud in her chest. She was dead.
Amy recalls seeing a light to the side of her and her senses became filled at once with a barrage of feelings. She could smell rain. She could feel the wind on her face…her senses were overloaded with these sensations.
It was in this moment that she realised she wanted to go back. She had a choice. She wanted to go back to where she feel these things again…and so she did just that, entering her physical body once again, her heart started to beat.
”if that were me, I would wheel myself to the edge of a cliff, and just go over it”
A few days later, having come back from her near death experience, Amy was told that septicemia had set in and they were going to have to amputate both of her legs. She was immediately taken down surgery to have them removed.
She awoke to find two stumps where her legs had been. Her first thought was not ”to wheel myself to the edge of a cliff, and just go over it”. She wanted to fight it and so she did. And this is where the rewrite of Amy’s life began…
Rewriting your life
Amy began snowboarding 7 months after she received her prosthetics.
She went on to win bronze at the 2014 Paralympics, has written a book, set up her own charitable foundation, Adaptive Action Sports which helps other disabled people to get involved in action sports. She was also recently a finalist in Dancing With The Stars.
Your story…how do you want your story to read?
I couldn’t possibly do Amy’s story justice on the pages of this blog. I have given you link below which shows Amy telling her story in her own words to Oprah Winfrey if you care to watch? But why am I telling you this?
I’m telling you this, because we could all be Amy.
We don’t know what tomorrow holds for any of us. We also, like Amy, don’t know how we might react in any particular situation? Amy thought she would rather be dead than not have her legs. Her truth was that she found and continues to find a spirit and determination that sees her every day go on to achieve amazing things, relish in life, inspire, and help others on their own journeys.
We mustn’t wait, and don’t need to wait to have bad things happen to us for us to change things in our lives. We can change now, whether that be our jobs or career, our relationships, our location or just our attitude.
It all begins with a mind shift and the desire to live a bigger better, greater life.
Let’s be inspired by phenomenal people like Amy and go forward into our own exciting futures with passion, determination and agitating spirit! We can rewrite our futurs at any time, as we are in charge of our own destiny.
We owe it to ourselves, and to others that might struggle, to do so.
Till next week…