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Michelle Skene one of the Active Women’s Health Physiotherapy Directors and the new name 

By now many of you will have heard about our exciting news – that Sue Croft Physiotherapy has been bought by John and Nicole Fitzgerald and will now be known as Active Women’s Health. This has been a huge relief for Bob and myself – that I can keep doing what I love (treating patients) and my staff will continue to work with me at 7/47 Hampstead Road, Highgate Hill, welcoming and treating our pelvic health patients. Other pelvic health physios from John’s South Brisbane site will soon be coming to join us at the Hampstead Road practice.

The big change would be that Bob, my steady practice manager and Mr Fix It, would be relieved of his duties and resume full time architecture from our home office – just like he did when he set up Croft Architects 33 years ago.

Our last day as owners of my practice was Thursday 28th March – Easter Thursday. I said to Bob that I didn’t want to just sit at home on Good Friday – I wanted to do something different to celebrate this fantastic outcome. We hired a campervan and headed off to Broken Head for two wonderful days camping, exploring and feeling the taste of freedom and a new chapter in our lives.

We visited our old stamping ground Woody Head National Park – we hadn’t been there for 26 years

Then on Easter Monday my darling Bob had a small heart attack. To say this came out of left field is an undertatement. We both felt like we were in some alternate universe – I kept pinching myself to see if it was real. But real it was. He had a triple bypass operation on Tuesday 9th April, 2024 and spent 3 days in ICU. He had a total of 14 days in hospital from when he first got admitted on April Fools Day and I can confidently say he was extremely sleep deprived when I brought him home.

Just a few hours after extubation Bob bravely smiling with Katie, Sophie and Michael

We could feel really sorry for ourselves (notice the Royal We), but it is such a miracle that he only had a small infarct, because the subsequent investigations revealed some decent blockages. We are lucky we live in Australia, where through an amazing surgeon, just one week after the discovery, he had the bypass surgery which went brilliantly.

I can assure everyone that the future plan is much more Architecture (Croft Architects), many more Dolomite mountain holidays, a new phase of campervan sneak aways and another 30 years of fun and laughter. There’s just a tough few weeks ahead for him. But Bob is your model patient. Give him a sheet of exercises and comply he does. Many a physio working with me at my practice over the years, who is capable of doing musculoskeletal physiotherapy, will attest to that. He really drew a short straw marrying such a vagina-centric physio who has been pretty much useless with any of his different physical ailments over the years.

Heart Health

I feel like something needs to be said about heart health. We had one warning sign perhaps that Bob’s heart was not quite perfect. He took on Mount Coolum in 2017, one stinking hot December morning and made the mistake of trying to keep up with our son, rather than just saying to Mike that ‘I need to slow down a bit’ (his usual pacing partner didn’t do the climb as it was way too hot for me). He passed out for about a minute and then woke up, but had no chest pain or other symptoms. Luckily a doctor was right behind him on the walk and gave him the all clear to walk back down again.

He had a stress test (echocardiogram) and it didn’t reveal a lot. But there have been signs that I think we all need to be aware of. Whilst Bob is tall and slim, a non-smoker, with no diabetes and with no obvious family history, his BP and cholesterol have been borderline and just continually ‘watched’ for many years. I have since learned that doctors are now much more aggressive with treating these two things to prevent what has happened to Bob. No amount of cutting hot chips or butter from your diet was going to solve his problem. His grandmother died at 54 and this could have possibly been related to cardiac disease.

So take heed and get a heart check.

Find out your family history. Get your cholesterol checked regularly. Treat it aggressively and don’t listen to the predominant messaging that it will give you muscle pain. I myself have high cholesterol and was constantly told statins give you muscle pain. I insisted a year ago that I go on statins and my cholesterol dropped from 7.6 to 4.1 in a matter of 2 months. Also treat your BP appropriately. Exercise daily (walking) and definitely avoid smoking and drink alcohol in moderation.

Cut out red meat and treat high BP and elevated choleterol

Funnily enough, every doctor who saw Bob immediately after his angiogram revealing the blockages has said the same thing: ‘Cut out the red meat in your diet’. We actually aren’t huge red meat eaters, but we also know our favourite indulgence of cakes, bikkies, chocolate and Aldi blue cheese will definitely need to be trimmed. We will be consulting with a dietician to get all the facts and he will be commencing cardiac rehab when he is 6 weeks post-op.


We will be soon once again hiking in the Alps (photo 1 The Matterhorn; Photo 2 The Dolomites)

Regular exercise

We have exercised daily for many years. 30 minutes of walking every day come rain, hail or shine. In recent years we have given away the cities in Europe and headed for the mountains and gone on hiking holidays doing 25,000 steps every day. Probably all this history of walking has been a huge help to Bob and how he has dealt with this surprise from left field and the goal is to slowly get back to peak fitness so we can head back to those Alluring Alps again soon.

Some thanks

This has been awkward timing, having literally just sold the practice and also an exhausting time since April1st. Thanks go to all the team from Active Womens Health – the new owners of Sue Croft Physiotherapy – who have been very understanding and supportive. I have managed to continue working, because as usual, working with my patients is a wonderful mood stabiliser for me and has kept me grounded.

Nicole Fitzgerald one of the new owners of Sue Croft Physiotherapy (now Active Womens Health Physiotherapy) 

For my old patients, some of whom I have been seeing for 25 years, it felt natural to share wiith some of them what had happened – also because they know Bob from his role as practice manager for me for many years. What I have learned from them is – most of their relatives have had Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery (CABG) and all of them made a brilliant recovery and went on to live for 20-30 years. That information has been amazing for us both to hear.

Everyone gathered for a pre-op party. Greenslopes Hospital had the best function room!

Thanks go to our beautiful children and grandchildren who have kept us cheerful and positive and have been a wonderful support in person and in our various chats. Also to my mother who has constantly reminded me of my own father’s experience of bypass surgery – that he took off walking as soon as he got home much to her horror, but who thrived after his surgery for many years.

Thanks also goes to Tay Tay (Taylor Swift) whose music on loop has also got me through this. As weird as that may sound, I had been trying to understand this Taylor Swift phenomenon just prior to Bob’s heart attack and got quite addicted to the music from her Eras Tour. Her positive music helped with counteracting the adrenaline/cortisol releases that have been constantly flooding my nervous system since April1st and the music has been remarkably calming.

Thanks goes to my lifelong friends who have been there for medical advice and shoulders to lean on through this time and for nearly 50 years; thanks go to Judith and Hannah for their advice, homegrown pawpaw and a debrief in the jam aisle at just the right time; and thanks goes to my witchy friends online, who because of their geographical location, are available every second of the day or night to support and counsel me or allow me to swear into the void to help with any emotional toll this unexpected event has taken.

Farewell breakky for Bob at The Green Room who was moving back to Yeronga to run his practice.

Finally, thank you to my wonderful staff who have been fabulous – they aren’t my staff anymore – just my amazing work colleagues, but their positivity, nurturing and constancy has kept me sane when I felt a bit insane at times.

The future

You may ask how do I feel about the changing of the name and do I feel any loss about Sue Croft Physiotherapy not being an entity anymore?

I feel amazing. I feel grateful. I feel relieved and I feel so positive.

The legacy for my patients, my staff and for me will be able to continue and John, Nicole and Luke Fitzgerald want Active Women’s Health to continue to be a safe zone for patients with pelvic health issues to seek refuge and help, knowing that the physiotherapists treating them will be empathetic listeners, providing the highest level of individualised assessment, trauma informed care and evidence-based treatments and using their best critical thinking at all times.

And I feel extremely positive that Bob and I will get to many more mountain holidays, hikes and exploring of the natural world! He is doing brilliantly, already managing walks to the park every day – already in training for the mountains.

Our Easter Saturday walk at Broken Head 

Lots of Dolomites spam to inspire us both


Last weekend at the practice cleaning up. Croft Architects will still be operating from Yeronga call Bob on 0407374261

To make an appointment with either myself, Megan, Sam, Haleh, Laura or Lea plus many other pelvic health physiotherapists at Active Women’s Health phone 38489601 or 0407659357 and our admin staff (Katie, Cristina, Mette and Cathy) will look after you.