The new operation comes just five months after Amy Purdy underwent her "biggest surgery" since her original amputation over 20 years ago

By Claudia Harmata
January 05, 2021 02:49 PM
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Credit: Amy Purdy/Instagram

Amy Purdy is starting off 2021 by undergoing yet another surgery.

On Tuesday, the 41-year-old Paralympian revealed that she would unexpectedly be having an operation on her legs.

"Well, I wasn’t expecting this. Ringing in the New Year with a New Surgery ❤️⁣ And to be honest, I’m not very excited about it," Purdy wrote on Instagram alongside a selfie from her hospital bed.

"Not that I’ve been excited about any of them but I was so close to walking and believe it or not even with all the surgeries that I’ve had since my leg injury ( 7? ) I actually haven’t hit a point of being over it until now," she added. "I guess that goes to show just how resilient our spirits and bodies are. We can handle so much."

Purdy explained that there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding this operation, adding to her uneasiness.

"This time is a bit more uncertain than the last, which is the hardest part. I actually won’t know what my surgeon will decide to do until I wake up," the decorated snowboarder said.

The former Dancing with the Stars contestant didn't disclose any further details about the medical procedure, though she seemingly found out about the needed operation at the start of the new year, sharing a note with followers about new "challenges."

"Hello 2021, I didn’t realize I would greet you with tears. But here we are, you + me together with a heart of love and hope and a mind knowing that just because we wake up into a new year doesn’t mean all our challenges are left behind," she said. "In fact, the only way to leave our challenges behind is to embrace them and use them to build on."

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Her latest operation comes nearly five months after Purdy underwent what she called her "biggest surgery" since her original amputation 20 years ago. She had both legs removed below the knee at age 19 after getting bacterial meningitis.

In a post shared on Aug. 11, Purdy wrote: "Today I’m having the biggest surgery I have had since losing my legs 20 years ago and out of all the surgeries this year this one feels the most surreal. ⁣I actually have struggled to figure out what to say about it right now so I’ll say this. ⁣Over the last 20 years these legs have worked beautifully for me! They have taken me to amazing places from mountain peaks to podiums to dancing and living the life I could have only dreamed for. I truly have lived a blessed life!"

"However, it’s time for major maintenance & if something is broken it’s time to fix it," she continued. "Today, one of the best surgeons in the world will be shortening my residual limb ( re- amputate) then will reconstruct the muscle in my lower leg. He will actually be reattaching muscles so they can rebuild for the first time in 20 years. Pretty amazing. This could be a game changer for me & many others in the future."

The athlete explained that the new surgery — which was taking place on her left leg — had previously been performed on "brand new amputations," but that she would be the first trial operation on an "existing amputation."

Following the procedure, Purdy reassured her fans that it went "better than expected," and that they anticipated she would be able to "build my muscles below the knee for the first time in 20 years."

Purdy was finally released from the hospital on Aug. 18, the 21st anniversary of when she first lost her limbs.

"So here I am 21 years later, leaving the hospital after a brand new amputation & reconstruction something I never thought I would have to do again," she wrote at the time. "And just like 21 years ago I’m stepping into the unknown except this time I know what the possibilities are because I lived them!"

Since then, Purdy appeared to be doing well following the operation, though she continued to only wear a prosthetic leg on her right side, as a previous blood clot in her left leg rendered her unable to use one on that side.