Miracle Man

That's how i'm known in Augusta

Picture a beautifully sunny April Georgian morning, walking into the Augusta National Golf Club on the Monday of the week of the 1998 Masters. Looking forward to the three practice days, working with some of our European players on the putting green.

Walking across the car park I began to feel pain and discomfort in my stomach and back. I called first at the message centre and talked to the ladies in there. From there I made my way, with the pain getting worse, to the Putting green and was by this time looking for somewhere to sit down. I spotted a First Aid buggy and sat down on that. The two medical students on the buggy took the decision to take me immediately to the medical centre on the course. As I walked into the centre I collapsed. The surgeon on duty diagnosed, immediately, a ruptured aortic aneurysm I was sent immediately in the Paramedic Ambulance that was thereon standby, to The Augusta University Hospital. The surgeon had phoned through and when I arrived the operating theatre was ready with the team that went onto save my life.

My family were notified very quickly and spent the next ten and a half-hours waiting for news. They phoned through many times to find out what exactly was happening. During one of these calls my son Duncan spoke with the surgeon on a mobile phone while he was actually performing the surgery. He explained that I had lost a great deal of blood but that he still felt confident that he could save me.

A few years ago my Father had had on aortic aneurysm, which was diagnosed and successfully operated on. At that time we had been told that there is no chance of living through a rupture, that twenty minutes was as long as one would have should it rupture. My wife Alma. Duncan, and daughter Heather all knew this, and were waiting for news with this knowledge. Duncan and Alma were also making plans to come over the following morning. It was the most awful situation for them, having to make these plans while I was still in surgery and of course not being sure of the outcome.

Heather and my grandchildren, I know were praying constantly during the operation. Thankfully I can report that their messages got through. I could not have been in better hands on earth and that is for sure. Everyone has told me that if I had been anywhere else in the world at that exact time on that Monday morning then I might not be here to tell the tale.

They call me the Miracle man in Augusta, but I can assure you that the Miracle man is Dr. Robert Johnson along with his team. It was his competitive nature and determination during the ten and a half-hour operation that kept me alive, By the way he is a 3 Handicapper!

Alma and I remained In The States until Dr. Johnson sold it would we OK for us to fly home and we returned on the weekend of May 2nd 1998. It was wonderful to return and continue my recuperation.

Every year I return to Augusta for the Masters it an emotional visit for me, but at least I'm here to experience them.

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Harold Swash Putting has more than 50 years' experience in the golf industry through putting coaching, putter design and the creation of putting training aids.

Driven from a passion for coaching, Director Phillip Kenyon brings to the golfing public the Putting School of Excellence, offering golfers of all abilities the chance to master the 'game within a game'.

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