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2.5 years ago I met a serial killer. Instead of using knives or guns it used my very own body to try to end my life and it came very close to succeeding. Its name is sepsis. If sepsis were a person it would be feared. It would be jailed for its crimes. It would be put in solitary confinement so that it could never touch another person. Each year sepsis kills between 6-9 million people around the world. 258,000 Americans a year. One person every 2 minutes. And yet, depending on the country, only 6-55% of people have heard of it. This is a potentially fatal fact for many people. Each hour that sepsis goes untreated increases the mortality rate by 7%. My chance of survival- less than 5%.

September is World Sepsis Awareness Month. There is a group of very passionate and dedicated people who are dedicating their lives to this cause. Most have been directly affected. They are survivors. Or they are grievers. Some are permanently disabled. And some will live with a void in their lives that nothing will ever fill. I’m a lucky one and it is not something I will ever take for granted.

I was sitting on the couch a couple of months ago watching the golf and noticed the ribbons the players were wearing on their hats that week. I called our Executive Director of Begin Again and told her I would love to make that happen for September. We were originally going to put them out the week of the Dell Technologies Championship but postponed it to give proper honor to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. When I showed up to the golf course last Thursday at the BMW Championship I had no idea the emotions that would flood me when I saw them on the player’s hats. I ran into one of my friends in the bathroom and asked her to thank her husband for wearing it. She told me he had actually lost people in his life to sepsis. He understood the significance.  I heard the commentators talking about the ribbons and what they stood for and it really started to sink in that what we were doing was important. And then Marc started playing some amazing golf. Wire to wire he showed the world what kind of player he is. Every birdie made that ribbon visible for millions of people to see.

BMW Championship - Final Round

I never imagined that I would do a live interview on NBC. I would rather follow Marc on the outside of the ropes, my PGA badge tied to my purse instead of around my neck. I don’t want the attention, but I do want sepsis to have it. So I took a lot of deep breaths- so many, in fact, that I got lightheaded. Somehow I got through it and I’m told it was okay. I won’t watch it and I don’t need to. In the sepsis community, one of our slogans is, “Say the word sepsis.” I was able to do that on a national stage and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to do so.

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Standing on the 18th green with our two boys and our miracle baby girl and watching Marc sink that putt to win by 5 shots was one of the happiest and proudest moments of my life. Every single hard moment that we endured made that one all the sweeter.

BMW Championship - Final Round

2.5 years ago I met a serial killer. Last week we introduced him to the world. I pray that doing so will save lives. Thank you for all of your support. We are ever so grateful.

4 thoughts on “

  1. Congratulations to you and your family. I was at the BMW Championship and it was very impressive to see the way Marc played with such steadiness and consistency. Thanks for sharing your story and for spreading awareness. My wife lost her brother to sepsis five years ago. He was a kidney patient and got an infection from his dialysis catheter. He was only 47. I believe that sepsis lacks the awareness and caution it warrants, especially in young people. Thank you for increasing awareness as, I am sure many lives will be saved. I wish the best for you and your family.

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  2. On August 13th, my brother Tom was admitted to the Riverhead, N.Y. hospital. He had all the reasons to have Sepsis and all the symptoms, but yet none of the Drs. were treating him for it. On August 14th, I e-mailed my niece asking her to have the Drs. look into Sepsis. They said he didn’t have it. On August 31st, my brother died. His death certificate says heart failure, but it was overheard the day of his death that he had Sepsis. Dr. Marik is a professor at EVMS and has been using a protocol at Norfolk General Hospital to treat Sepsis with impressive success. It involves hydro cortisol, intravenous vitamin C , and thiamin (B1) He has lost 1 patient out of the 150 he has treated with this protocol. His full interview with WAVY TV 10 can be seen online. I personally would like to honor my brother by distributing CDs of this interview to as many hospitals as possible. It is so strange that this story came to light shortly after my brother’s death and would involve a family in the golf community. My brother played golf everyday that he could, and his funeral reception was held at the golf course clubhouse. Because of my own personal medical family emergencies, I never got up to N.Y. before his death to have Drs. look at this information and I never got a chance to say goodbye. I will miss him forever.
    I do feel the need to do something so that other families don’t experience the same tragic ending his family and myself have to live with.

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  3. Well said Audrey, and I applaud you for taking the time to write this article as many may think the same way as you in your position, but would not come out into the public arena and say it for fear of any backlash.
    I am 67 years old and only took up golf at the age of 55. I love my golf, good days and bad days and everything is relative no matter what standard you pay at. I also love watching golf for many years, even before taking up the game, but decided to switch the tv off after watching some of what went on at the Presidents Cup. The behaviour was disgraceful and not played in the sporting spirit that it should have been played. My son has played golf since a very early age and through that time has has been taught how to behave, dress, and alway to be mindful of others, he has also taken these attributes into his every day life and I think the golf taught him a lot about life, winning and how to accept losing. Sadly, the few the that behaved so badly have tarnished the game and that will be remembered.
    I wish you, Marc and your family a happy and healthy life.
    Best wishes
    David

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  4. Thank you for a moving description. I had not heard of Sepsis, and will be more aware. I live in Geelong and have played Warrnambool a few times. I wish you and Mark much good fortune in your lives. Arthur Robbins

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