In a heart-wrenching Facebook post, Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy broke the news that because of a blood clot, she must choose between her leg or her kidney.
According to the post, it started when she felt a “sudden pain” in her calf. Given that she’s known to snowboard six hours a day, follow a hefty workout routine, and all the travel she does, she assumed it was a simple issue with the prosthetic.
It was at the hospital that the doctors revealed she had a blood clot from her hip to the bottom of her leg. They believe the clot developed as a result of the prosthetic pushing on the arteries behind her knee.
The doctors then revealed that the contrast dyes they use to fix such problems could do severe damage to the kidney her dad gave her. If she wants to keep the kidney, they’ll be forced to amputate the leg.
This resulted in her having to make an impossible choice – remove her leg to save her kidney or lose her kidney to keep her leg.
Purdy has always been a fighter. At 19, she was diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis, a bacterial infection, and septic shock that took such a toll on her body, doctors were forced to remove her spleen, a kidney, and amputated both legs below the knees.
According to Purdy’s own website, her loving father gave her one of his kidneys just before she turned 21. Despite the loss of her legs, she decided to take up snowboarding.
Almost two decades later, she’s accomplished a lot and has become an incredible role model. She received the bronze medal for snowboarding in the 2014 Sochi Paralympics, she appeared in one of Madonna’s music videos, had a lead role in an award-winning independent film, became a model, appeared on Dancing with the Stars, started a line of clothing, wrote a New York Times bestselling book based on her story, and is a motivational speaker who has appeared in TED talks.
What she considers her greatest professional achievement was the co-founding of the nonprofit organization Adaptive Action Sports. AAS works to motivate those with permanent disabilities to get involved in action sports like snowboarding.
Purdy’s certainly no pushover and she’s come a long way, which is why the news of her tough medical decision is so heartbreaking to her family, friends, and fans. If she chooses to keep her legs, it’ll cause complications with her kidney which has helped her health immensely. If she chooses to keep her kidney, she’ll be forced to spend less time on her prosthetics or possibly give them up entirely to avoid developing future clots.
There hasn’t been any word on what decision she’s made. Her last words asked for the thoughts and prayers of her fans as she struggles with this terrible ordeal.