America’s Cup-winning skipper nearly lost arm to infection

Jimmy Spithill came close to having his left arm amputated earlier this year after battling a serious post-surgery infection.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Jimmy Spithill said his post-surgery infection taught him a “typical, hard lesson” about balance in his life.

Jimmy Spithill said his post-surgery infection taught him a “typical, hard lesson” about balance in his life.

Jimmy Spithill came close to having his left arm amputated earlier this year after battling a serious post-surgery infection.

The two-time America's Cup-winning skipper said his decision to rush back onto the water with Oracle Team USA after surgery to repair a persistent case of tennis elbow almost cost him his arm.

Spithill, 37, picked up a severe infection after getting his wound wet and had to undergo a series of emergency surgeries before spending 10 weeks on an intravenous drip.

"I had a race, Portsmouth in the Louis Vuitton World Series, on the Saturday I tore [the tendon] off the bone, but then raced Sunday," Spithill told the Sydney Morning Herald. "The surgery was a success, but I rushed back and got it wet and picked up a real bad infection, and then it was multiple surgeries, pretty much living with the surgeon.”

"IV for 10 weeks, antibiotics morning and night, so it was a battle,” Spithill said. ”I’m glad we finally won and we beat it. If it wasn't for the surgeon, a guy by the name of Rob Bray, who knows. He saved me. I almost lost my arm."

Spithill said it was a “typical, hard lesson” to learn about balance.

"You can't just go full throttle all the time," he said. "It gave me time to really think about the campaign, what was going on. It was just a good mental test."

Related

The 2021 Top 10 Most Innovative Marine Companies Awards

The marine industry consistently honors products and people. The industry, however, has not recognized forward-thinking companies that are moving the industry in new directions. Soundings Trade Only’s mission is to reflect, inform and inspire.

German Superyacht Yard Files for Bankruptcy

Nobiskrug cited a lack of orders, the Covid-19 pandemic and other factors in its decision to start the proceedings.

West Marine Acquired

The private-equity firm L Catterton will take a controlling interest in the retailer’s ownership.

Kicker Supports Two Events on Lake Havasu

The marine audio company will take part in the performance-boat events Super Cat Fest West and the Desert Storm Poker Run this weekend and next.

Bay Bridge Show Starts Tomorrow

The combined sail- and powerboat show runs through Sunday in Stevensville, Md.

Brunswick Corp. Arranges Covid-19 Vaccinations

The marine-industry conglomerate aims to protect employees and their communities against Covid-19.

Kadey-Krogen Announces New Ownership Structure

This summer, the builder and its new investor plan to reveal a five-year innovation and strategic plan.

What is America’s Finest Harbor?

Online voting is open in the US Harbors competition for the best U.S. harbor.

Bruce Van Wagoner to Retire

The 45-year industry veteran was marine group president for Wells Fargo Distribution Finance.