The double amputee explains how she found the strength to survive after going into cardiac arrest

By Liz McNeil
Updated December 10, 2014 03:00 PM

In her upcoming memoir On My Own Two Feet, double amputee and Dancing with the Stars alum Amy Purdy opens up for the first time about her near-death experience in 1999.

After getting meningitis and going into cardiac arrest, she was lying on the operating table, she writes, and “crossed over,” feeling like she was given the choice to live or to die.

“I was on my death bed, and I remember hanging on to these words, ‘Don’t be scared. You are going to live an amazing life,’ and I have,” she says in the exclusive video above.

Purdy, 35, wrote the book about her amazing recovery because, she says, “I wanted to share my journey from losing my legs to going through all of these amazing adventures.”

After losing her legs below the knee in 1999, she won a bronze medal (using prosthetics) in the 2014 Winter Paralympics. She then wowed audiences the same year with Derek Hough on DWTS.

“Everything we go through,” she says, “whether it’s good or bad or challenging or exhilarating, everything will make sense in the end.”

On My Own Two Feet comes out Dec. 30.