Before Paralympic snowboarder and "Dancing with the Stars" finalist Amy Purdy fought off the deadly form of bacterial meningitis that led to the amputation of both of her legs at age 19, she was working as a massage therapist at a Las Vegas hotel. Just one month before Purdy ended up in the hospital fighting for her life, she had a foretelling, if not divine, encounter with a client she wasn't even supposed to see.
That encounter occurred after Purdy had worked a busy day at the hotel. Exhausted, she had just reached her car when her cell phone rang. It was Purdy's manager, asking if she could come back and take care of one more client who had been forgotten about. Purdy took a deep breath and agreed to turn around.
Once inside, Purdy met the client who had been waiting nearly an hour for his appointment. She introduced herself, and immediately felt her energy change. "We shook hands, and he was so warm and so welcoming that, in that moment, I was really happy that I actually came back for him," she recalls.
During the session, Purdy and the client began having a conversation. "At one point, he said, 'Your touch is amazing... You feel like a very intuitive person,'" she says. "I said, 'Thank you, I kind of feel that way as well.'"
Then, the client said something that stopped Purdy in her tracks.
"He said, 'I have a question for you: Have you crossed over yet to the other side?'" Purdy says.
What struck Purdy about the man's question wasn't the idea itself. It was the fact that the comment seemed to align with a persistent intuition that Purdy had been experiencing herself in recent years.
"For the last couple of years, I'd had this feeling that something was going to happen in my life -- I didn't know if it was bad or if it was good -- and I felt as if every day, that feeling got stronger and stronger," Purdy explains. "So when this man asked, 'Have you crossed over yet?' I associated it to that feeling... What I thought he meant is somehow 'crossing over' into... living on a different level of life."
Purdy responded to the man that she hadn't "crossed over" yet, but had a sense of what he means. The man then shared a story about himself that Purdy has never forgotten.
"When he was young, he fell down a well and he drowned. And he died," Purdy says. "When he was resuscitated, when he came back, he felt that his life was completely different. Everything was the same, yet it was completely different. He felt that he went to live on a different kind of wavelength... He said, 'I feel, just by your touch, just by your presence, that if it hasn't already happened to you that it's going to happen.'"
Those weren't the stranger's only words to Purdy.
"He said, 'Just know that when this happens to you, don't be scared,'" she says.
One month later, Purdy was in the hospital on life support, being given a 2 percent chance of survival. She describes being rushed to emergency surgery, hearing her last heartbeat and dying on the operating table. (Watch Purdy tell Oprah what she saw during this death.) Miraculously, Purdy recovered, and now shares her message of resilience, positive energy, and living a life beyond limits.