- April 8, 2016
- Lyons P&O
The 2014 Team USA Paralympic bronze medalist proudly paired a minidress with her prosthetic legs Thursday night at the OK! TV Awards Party in Los Angeles, an inspiring choice her fans can’t stop calling “beautiful” on social media.
Purdy, a 34-year-old pro snowboarder who also appeared on season 18 of “Dancing With the Stars,” lost both of her legs at the age of 19 following a battle with bacterial meningitis.
Doctors gave Purdy a “less than 2 percent chance” of surviving the infection, whichput her in a coma for nearly three weeks and also took her spleen, the hearing in her left ear and her kidneys. She ultimately persevered and returned to snowboarding, but only after building her own prosthetics, because snowboarding-specific ones didn’t exist at the time.
Purdy returned to the hospital again a week before her 21st birthday for an organ transplant — a kidney donated by her father. As before, she recovered and returned to physical activity, co-founding Adaptive Action Sports, a group dedicated to helping individuals with physical disabilities participate in action sports.