General Session Speakers

We are proud to welcome the following speakers to our stage at Surgical Conference & Expo 2016 in Anaheim.

Amy Purdy

2016 Amy Purdy   

At 19, after experiencing flu-like symptoms, Amy was rushed to the hospital in a state of septic shock. En route, she experienced respiratory and multiple organ failure which caused her to lose circulation to her extremities. When she entered into the hospital she was given less than a 2% chance of survival, put on life support and placed into a coma. 

After multiple blood transfusions, and the removal of her ruptured spleen, doctors diagnosed Amy with Meningococcal Meningitis, a vaccine preventable bacterial infection. Due to the lack of circulation she had suffered doctors had to amputate her legs below the knee. She later received a donated kidney from her father a week before her 21st birthday.

After going through this life-altering experience, Amy challenged herself to move on with her life and attain goals that even those who have both legs struggle to achieve. Just three months after her kidney transplant, Amy entered the USASA National Snowboarding Championship where she won medals in three events. Today, she is one of the top ranked adaptive snowboarders in the world and was the 2014 Paralympic bronze medalist in the inaugural snowboarding competition. She is the only double-leg amputee competing at the world-class level.

Amy’s creativity, positive outlook, and her never-give-up attitude have opened doors to many other opportunities including being featured in a Madonna music video, a lead actress role in an award winning independent film and multiple creative modeling projects. In 2012, she and her longtime boyfriend, Daniel Gale, raced around the world on CBS’s The Amazing Race. In the spring of 2014, Amy inspired millions of fans with her stunning performances on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, eventually becoming the show’s runner-up.

Amy has evolved into a powerful inspirational and motivational speaker who has literally been seen by millions of people and invited to share her story to audiences around the world. Amy’s TED x Orange Coast talk, “Living Beyond Limits” is the number one recommended video by TED x OC to incoming TED speakers formulating their own presentations. 

In May of 2013 Amy was named by the International Olympic Committee as one of the top 15 most marketable Para-athletes in the world.

Although Amy has numerous accomplishments, she is most proud of co-founding Adaptive Action Sports.

Created in 2005, AAS is a non-profit organization which helps those with permanent disabilities to get involved in action sports. AAS has partnered with ESPN and runs “adaptive” action sport competitions at the summer and winter ESPN X Games. These events were instrumental in getting adaptive snowboarding added to the 2014 Paralympic Games.

Learn more about Amy » 


Mike Mullane

2016 Mike Mullane 

Colonel Mullane was born September 10, 1945 in Wichita Falls, Texas but spent much of his youth in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he currently resides.  Upon his graduation from West Point in 1967, he was commissioned in the United States Air Force.  As a Weapons Systems Operator aboard RF-4C Phantom aircraft, he completed 150 combat missions in Vietnam.  He holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology and is also is a graduate of the Air Force Flight Test Engineer School at Edwards Air Force Base, California.  

Mullane was selected as a Mission Specialist Astronaut in 1978 in the first group of Space Shuttle Astronauts.  He completed three space missions and logged 356 hours in space aboard the shuttles Discovery (STS-41D) and Atlantis (STS-27 & STS-36) before retiring from NASA and the Air Force in 1990.  Mullane has been inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame and is the recipient of many awards, including Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit and the NASA Space Flight Medal.

Since his retirement from NASA, Colonel Mullane has written an award-winning children's book, Liftoff! An Astronaut's Dream, and a popular space-fact book, Do Your Ears Pop In Space?  His memoir, Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut, published by Scribner in early 2006, has been reviewed in The New York Times and on the Jon Stewart Daily Show.

Colonel Mullane has held a lifelong passion for hiking.  On July 23, 2010, he summited Africa’s highest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro.  He has established himself as an acclaimed professional speaker on the topics of teamwork, leadership and safety.  He has educated, entertained, inspired and thrilled tens of thousands of people from every walk of business and government with his incredibly unique programs.

Mike and Donna Mullane married a week after his graduation from West Point in 1967.  The couple has three children and six grandchildren.

Learn more about Mike »  


 

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