Marc Leishman will never fear anything on a golf course again after coming perilously close to losing wife Audrey to illness.
Leishman, who missed his place in the Masters to be by Audrey’s side as she battled acute respiratory distress syndrome and toxic shock syndrome, has revealed doctors gave the mother-of-two a five per cent chance to live during her ordeal.
But showing an incredible will to fight, Audrey is now back at their Virginia Beach home and on her way to a full recovery, meaning the Victorian can return to the US PGA Tour.
Initially thinking she was just fighting the flu and with Marc already at Augusta National preparing for the Masters, Audrey finally admitted herself to urgent care on March 31 when her condition worsened.
Marc flew back to be by her side in hospital and soon after she was placed in an induced coma as the respiratory distress syndrome took hold.
“It was very scary. I can very clearly remember not being able to breathe,” she told AAP.
From there toxic shock took hold of her organs and Leishman was told the dire prognosis.
“It wasn’t looking good for her survival. It was shattering. The toxic shock syndrome started shutting down all of her organs,” Leishman explained.
“We were told her chances of survival was at five per cent. The only thing in our favour was she was fit, goes to the gym all the time, is young and has two young kids and a real will to live. Thankfully in the end, that’s what got her through.”
Doctors were able to flip Audrey onto her stomach to help with fluid on her lungs and slowly but surely she showed improvement, before finally regaining her consciousness four days after being placed in the induced coma.
“I was going crazy inside, not a whole lot of good things happened in that time,” Leishman explained.
“I was trying to stay strong for everyone else but I couldn’t eat, I lost 10 pounds in four days, I wasn’t sleeping.
“I understand what people go through when they are in these positions. We are so lucky. Her doctor was just amazing. I have no doubt he saved her life with his decisions.”
Audrey is still in recovery mode, effectively having to learn to walk again as her body slowly regains strength.
She has improved markedly every day.
“I am just really grateful to still be here,” she said.
“I really appreciate the strength I have and my health and I appreciate every kiss and cuddle I can give my kids, every boo boo I can kiss away, every tussle of their hair. I appreciate everything.
“I never really allowed myself to ask why it happened I have instead chosen to focus on the fact that I survived and the amount of love and support everyone has shown us. It has been so overwhelming and humbling to see how many people are in our corner and supported us.”
While understandably a little hesitant to get back to work, Leishman heads to the Zurich Classic this week in New Orleans with the full blessing of his wife and family.
“This certainly puts things into perspective. If you make a bogey, who cares, they happen, just fight back best you can,” Leishman said of his return.
“Hopefully I can get myself into a position to win on a Sunday again pretty quickly and be able to just handle it without any stress or worry now.
“I can draw from her strength for sure, not just in golf, but in every day of our lives.”
Jason Day, Robert Allenby, Aaron Baddeley, Steven Bowditch, Greg Chalmers, Scott Gardiner, Jarrod Lyle, Cameron Percy, John Senden and Cameron Smith join Leishman in a strong Australian contingent in the field in New Orleans.