Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has revealed the extent of his spinal injury after he slipped and fell on wooden steps just after the long weekend.
Last Tuesday around 6.30am, Andrews was getting ready for work when he “fell heavily” on wooden steps at the front of a rental beach house he was staying in with his family.
“I landed flat on my back and hit the steps hard directly below the shoulder blades fracturing at least five ribs and sustaining an acute compression fracture of the T7 vertebra,” Andrews said in a statement on Monday.
“These are serious injuries that require me to wear a brace throughout each day except when sleeping.
“I narrowly avoided permanent damage to my spinal cord.”
The The 48-year-old premier also said he must undergo comprehensive physiotherapy.
Therefore he will take a leave of absence for at least six weeks.
‘I narrowly avoided permanent damage to my spinal cord.’
“I will provide updates on my progress as and when needed and Deputy Premier James Merlino will continue to act as Premier of Victoria. I thank James and the team for their support,” he said.
Andrews said one of the trauma specialists told his wife Cath he should buy a Tattslotto ticket as he is “very lucky to be here in one piece”.
On Monday, The Alfred hospital put out a statement confirming Andrews had been discharged to start his “significant period of rehabilitation”.
“Mr Andrews has responded well without surgery so far, and the work to improve his strength and mobility must now begin,” The Alfred’s director of trauma services Professor Mark Fitzgerald said.
“As the rehabilitation journey gets underway, we will watch closely for any signs of worsening spinal stability or alignment, as well as the development of other complications.
“When upright, a brace is worn to stabilise the spine, maintain alignment, and help to control pain. Physiotherapy treatment is key at this time.”