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Canberra golfer lifts for ill mother

Nikki Campbell.

Nikki Campbell. Photo: Getty Images

Canberra's Nikki Campbell drew strength and inspiration from her sick mother to leap into contention at the Australian Open at Royal Canberra on Friday.

Playing such a big event on her home course was always going to be special, but for Campbell it holds far greater emotional significance.

Her mother Angela watched her play from a wheelchair as she recovers from a nasty fall at the family home in September.

Unable to walk long distances, Angela was released from hospital for the day to watch her daughter card a three-under 70, and leap to five-under and a share of 18th spot.

Campbell's round was bogey-free, but as she later embraced her mother and father Ian it put golf into perspective.

"She just came out of hospital today and might come out again on Sunday,'' Campbell said.

Angela is making gradual progress after Campbell admitted the initial diagnosis was ''quite grim''.

"She's doing well. It's slow, but she's doing better every day,'' she said.

"At one stage she couldn't move one side of her body, she couldn't speak, she couldn't see.

"She needs assistance to walk and going out she mostly goes in a wheelchair, she's not strong enough to walk long distances.

"With the brain you don't really know, so you hope for the best,'' Campbell said.

"She won't make a full recovery, they expect her cognitive skills to be something that doesn't recover.

"She's been in hospital since September. She fell down some stairs and had a massive head injury.

"She started to recover from that, but at the hospital doing rehab she had another fall.

"The first fall was quite serious, but the second one, because the brain's already been damaged, the progress from that has been quite slow.

"[But] she's doing better than what we were told at the beginning.''

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