On the Shoulders Of Giants…
5 top resilience tips from Storm
legend Billy Slater & a few from his
20 The Ramsay Way 2017 | 03
Use the promotion code "RamsayStaff"
for 50% off your entry*
FUN & FITNESS
As Melbourne Storm romped their way into NRL
history this year, no one was more jubilant than
Dr John Trantalis, the Sydney orthopaedic surgeon
who operated on superstar fullback Billy Slater
after two horrendous seasons of shoulder injuries.
“I first met Billy during an emergency consultation in 2016.
He’d already had a serious shoulder injury and surgery the
season before. When I looked at the X-Rays for this second
injury I knew it was a big impact injury, the kind you’d see in a
fall from a two-storey building,” says Dr John Trantalis.
Slater had a two hour operation at Kareena Private Hospital
in February before staging a stunning comeback, culminating
in a 34-6 win against the Queensland Cowboys and the Clive
“Most patients do the shoulder rehab exercises two or three
times a day but Billy did them eight or nine times and I had
to slow him down at one point. He is a wonderful example
of how surgery on a shoulder isn’t just about the prosthesis;
the surgery or the surgeon – quite a lot of it is the patient’s
attitude and commitment to rehab. I have never come across
a more dedicated patient.”
“Billy has won Dally M fullback of the year; he’s received the
Golden Boot for the world’s best player, he’s had an incredible
recovery from two seasons of big injuries, he’s won the Clive
Churchill Medal. Most players wouldn’t achieve in a lifetime
what he has achieved in a year,” said Dr Trantalis.
“No matter how deep the hole, how hard the slog, he just
kept going; he simply refused to give up.”
Tri-Pink 2018 Season Dates
The TriPink fun runs cater for all ages and levels of fitness and
go from October to April. Here are next year’s new dates. Sign
up your hospital team today. Go to
www.tripink.com.au or follow TriPink on Facebook.
Events start at 50m swim, 2km bike ride and 500m run right
up to the Ultra 600m swim 18km ride and 6km run.
• Perth Sunday, 12 November 2017
• Sydney (SOPA) Saturday, 3 December 2018
• Melbourne* Sunday, 21 January 2018
• Gold Coast Sunday, 18 February 2018
• Sydney (Maroubra) Sunday, 22 April 2018
• Sunshine Coast Sunday, 25 March 2018
*only use code once for teams.
My Top Tip for shoulder injuries
– Dr Trantalis
“Don’t wait if it’s bad. If you leave a big rotator
cuff tear it retracts and you can never fix it.
Seek early treatment and listen to your physios
and surgeon. Both are very important in your
Photos for this article
courtesy of Newspix
BILLY TALKS RESILIENCE
TO THE RAMSAY WAY
Billy Slater started playing football at four; played footy for
Innisfail in country Queensland at the age of 14 and left
school at 16 to follow his passion for thoroughbred race
horses. Since then he’s had a remarkable career spanning
two decades; 15 seasons for the Melbourne Storm and
playing in the World Cup for Australia in 2013.
He talks to the Ramsay Way about
resilience in recovery.
Billy what is your resilience recovery mantra? “I don’t
really have a mantra, but there was a quote that really
resonated with me when I pulled out of the grand final in
2016 due to my shoulder injury. ‘Discipline is choosing
between what you want now and what you want most’.
I knew that if I had played I would sacrifice everything
including the risk of injuring my shoulder. There are two
types of resilience. The first is the physical stuff – it’s
painful and you have to really push the boundaries of
flexibility and strength. The second is the mental side; the
mental rehabilitation and overcoming the frustration that
things mightn’t be moving quickly enough. Part of mental
resilience is knowing when to play and when to delay.”
What advice to you have to other players about injuries?
“Be diligent about rehab and get as many medical
opinions as you can. It’s your shoulder so get as much
information as possible so you can to make the best
Was this grand final sweeter than the others, given
everything you went through? “It was different. I just knew
I had to get back on the field because of everything my
family had sacrificed. My wife Nicole was amazing. We
have a reclining bed so she slept on a mattress on the
floor to aid recovery while I slept sitting up. I couldn’t do
much around the house and I couldn’t take the kids to the
park to throw the footy around. Being back on the field
was great for my kids (Tyla 9 and Jake 6) because they’re
at an age now where they really appreciate what I do.”
Is Winx the best race horse you’ve ever seen? “It’s hard
to beat Black Caviar or Makybe Diva but I have to say it’s
hard to go past her at the moment.”
Billy’s autobiography Billy Slater (Penguin) is now on sale
at Dymocks for $29.99.