After guiding the United States to a Ryder Cup victory in September, Steve Stricker spent weeks in the hospital due to an unknown ailment. He later told Wisconsin Golf that he was lucky to be alive.
Stricker won the Ryder Cup at his home course of Whistling Straits in late September, making history as the captain of the United States’ youngest squad to ever defeat Europe by the largest margin in Ryder Cup history.
Although a COVID-19 test came out negative, Stricker, 54, became unwell about a month later with what he described as a nasty cough and sore throat that eventually developed into something far more terrible.
I remember getting home from a night of hunting and thinking, “I don’t feel good. A pain has appeared in my side. In an exclusive interview released on Thursday, he told Wisconsin Golf, “I just don’t feel good. That night I broke out in a cold sweat and my temperature shot up to 103.
I’m saddened to hear about the passing of Herb Kohler today! He’s done so much for golf in Wisconsin. He made it possible for @RyderCupUSA to bring the cup back home! That was for you Herb! RIP pic.twitter.com/70n2VemLrC
— Steve Stricker (@stevestricker) September 5, 2022
As a result, I revisited my family doctor and was prescribed amoxicillin, a stronger antibiotic. And I believe that prompted a response from me. My lips swelled, my glands swelled, and my tongue swelled, and I felt my throat tighten. Similar to an allergic reaction. My temperature was still 103 degrees.
About two weeks before Thanksgiving, I was admitted to the hospital and stayed there. The poop finally hit the fan at that point. My liver tests started showing deterioration.
It was discovered that I had an abnormally high number of white blood cells in my blood. They couldn’t figure out what I was up against, but I was battling it. My liver health was deteriorating. The Jaundice had me. I was dribbling out Pepsi-colored urine and was a bright yellow overall.
Even Stricker’s heart skipped a beat, and inflammation was discovered in the area.
He was admitted for 11 days, spent the holiday at home, and then returned three days later when he felt even worse.
“Everything is going the wrong way,” he told Wisconsin Golf. “In a word, it was boring. Currently, you are in the dark. The destination of this path is unknown to you.
I never once worried that I wouldn’t be able to escape. But I didn’t eat for two weeks. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t work up an appetite. The simple act of getting up and walking was difficult for me because of my heart. I would be completely out of breath after only walking the few steps to my room’s bathroom.”
Stricker said in an interview with Wisconsin Golf that he and his doctors are still baffled as to what ailed him, and that he has no idea how he contracted it (although he does think the stress of the Ryder Cup played a role).
The doctor said he still isn’t feeling 100%. His heart irritation has lessened, although it is still present. Though he hasn’t been able to eat solids since late November and has lost 25 pounds in that time, he has made significant progress since then. Although, his cardiologist has warned him it will be at least six months before he can return to professional football.
But he has completely forgotten about that now.
He declared his good fortune to the Wisconsin Golf Association. “Things seem to be heading in the right direction, at least for me. I need to give it some more time.”
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