Statement From The Premier

15 March 2021

This morning I was very pleased to return home after six days in hospital.

It’s been a long, painful and difficult week. As you know, at around 6.30am last Tuesday, I fell heavily on wooden steps at the front of a rental beach house that our family had been staying at for the long weekend. 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.

I narrowly avoided permanent damage to my spinal cord.

These are serious injuries that require me to wear a brace throughout each day except when sleeping. My doctors also want me to get rest and undertake a comprehensive program of physiotherapy. That’s why I will take a leave of absence from my duties for at least six weeks.

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.

Of course, I will remain in regular contact with James and my other colleagues and staff.

I want to make special mention of the Ambulance Victoria paramedics, the entire team of staff at Peninsula Private and Alfred Health from trauma specialists to spinal surgeons, cooks and cleaners and everyone in between. I’m grateful to be a Victorian patient and proud of our Victorian health system.

It’s important that I take this rest and recovery seriously as one trauma specialist said to Cath and I last week, ‘you very narrowly avoided a life-changing injury, you should buy a Tattslotto ticket, you are very lucky to be here in one piece’.

I’m not sure about the Tattslotto ticket but I’m certain that with rest, continued high quality care and the support of family, friends, colleagues and the Victorian community, I’ll be back doing the job I love as soon as possible.

I would ask that media and others respect my privacy and that of my family during this time.

Reviewed 15 March 2021

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