Susan Egelstaff, Team GB Badminton player

Susan Egelstaff, Team GB Badminton player

‘I had been a full-time athlete for over a decade without suffering any serious injuries so when my first major injury happened during the qualifying period for London 2012, the timing could not have been worse, to say the least. I first met Professor Mackay at my initial consultation in October 2011 and two days later he was operating on me. From the moment I woke up from my general anaesthetic, I was a nightmare patient. Professor Mackay arrived into my hospital room to check on me post-operation and from that minute my questions began. They didn’t stop for the next 6 months. I wanted to be back on a badminton court within one week of my operation- unsurprisingly, Professor Mackay felt this was a touch optimistic. He fully appreciated the need for a rapid recovery- I had less than 7 months until the end of the Olympic qualification period which was similar to the expected recovery period for my injury. Professor Mackay’s experience within sport, and with athletes, meant that he moved me along as quickly as possible without risking further injury which would have derailed my Olympic ambitions entirely.

However quickly he allowed me to progress though, it still did not feel quick enough for me. At every one of my appointments, without exception, I fired questions at him asking why I couldn’t do more, why I couldn’t take on a heavier workload. Not once did he get annoyed that I was machine-gunning questions at him- he answered every one of my incessant queries with a level of patience that not many people could have maintained. Neither did he get annoyed that most of my questions were asked through my tears, which seemed to start like some kind of Pavlovian response to seeing him. And I listened to every word he said. Even though I wanted to be back on court immediately, I implicitly trusted his judgement. I trusted that he knew exactly the best course of action to rehab from my injury and I knew that he realised just how important it was for me to be back on court as soon as was physically possible. I will be forever grateful to Professor Mackay for getting me fit and able to qualify for London 2012- without him, I feel sure that I wouldn’t have been part of Team GB. I cannot thank him enough for everything he did for me, both medically but also how he managed me throughout my recovery, which was perhaps the most difficult part. There’s definitely not too many people who could have coped with me throughout those few months and I’m so grateful that Professor Mackay did put up with me and got me to London.’

Susan Egelstaff,
London 2012 – Team GB Badminton player

To read more about Egelsaff’s remarkable journey to recovery click here

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