Review by Ann McDonald
Amy Purdy, who inspired a nation on Dancing with the Stars and has been called a hero by Oprah Winfrey, reveals the intimate details of her triumphant comeback from the brink of death to making history as a Paralympic snowboarder.
‘On My Own Two Feet’ is a fascinating trip through this lovely young woman’s life. From losing her legs, receiving a kidney transplant and dying along the way, this story will leave you breathless. If there have been times in your life, or someone else you are close to, when despair and the universal cry when we hurt, “Why me?” is used, then you buy this book for them and encourage them to read it. There are a lot of superlatives you could toss around regarding this book but I won’t go there because honestly, there is no superlative I can think of that would come anywhere near describing this story.
It is June of 1999 in Las Vegas and we meet Amy where she is finishing up her shift at Canyon Ranch, a world-class spa where she works as a massage therapist. As she is about to leave for the day, she is asked to stay and take one final client. She agrees and meets a mysterious man who tells her that she will do amazing things in her life but then he asks her a very strange question, “Have you crossed over to the other side yet?” She answers “No” and he then proceeds to tell her that he did when he was young and that he lived a very different life after being revived and tells her not to be afraid when it happens.
She drives home in silence. At 19 years of age, the last thing in the world you want to think of, is dying. The story follows, in great detail, the onset of Meningitis that almost takes her life but did take both her legs and one of her kidneys. It is harrowing stuff for her and her amazingly supportive family. When you hear the old saying “The salt of the earth,” attributed to people, the final definition is this family of Amy Purdy’s. She has indomitable courage, a great love of snowboarding and a greater love of life. She meets and transforms people from all walks of life, from the famous to the ordinary.
She accomplishes all she sets out to achieve with determination and grace. But this book, read it and like Amy, enjoy the heck out of it. Very highly recommended.
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