Australian television legend Bert Newton is recovering in a Melbourne hospital after medical professionals strongly advised a leg amputation to save his life.
Bert, 82, made the ‘life or death decision’ to amputate when given the dire reality of only having months to live if he went against the advice of doctors.
Just hours after the shock news broke on Monday, Bert’s wife of 47 years, Patti Newton was seen arriving to visit her husband following the weekend surgery.
Staying positive: Patti Newton puts on a brave face as she visits entertainment legend husband Bert, 82, in a Melbourne hospital after having his leg amputated in a ‘life or death decision’
Bert underwent surgery to remove his leg over the weekend, following complications with a toe infection before Christmas.
Entertainment reporter Peter Ford, who has been in contact with the Newton family, said on 3AW Breakfast on Monday that the infection kept getting worse and spreading, leaving doctors no choice but to amputate.
While a spokesperson for the Newtons declined to comment, they did confirm the reports about Bert’s leg amputation were correct.
Shortly after the shock announcement was made by Mr Ford, Patti, 76, was seen arriving at the hospital with her daughter Lauren Newton, 40, to visit Bert.
Patti put on a brave face as she made her way towards the entrance with her blonde lookalike daughter nearby.
Lauren appeared to drive her mother to the facility, as she is dealing with her own leg injury at the moment; a broken ankle.
Support: Shortly after the shock announcement was made by Mr Ford, Patti, 76, was seen arriving at the hospital with her daughter Lauren Newton, 40, to visit Bert
Doting daughter: Lauren (right) appeared to drive her mother to the facility, as the 76-year-old is dealing with her own injury at the moment. Pictured near their family home
Ouch: Patti recently broke her ankle and has been getting around with a moon boot brace around her right ankle and leg
Patti was upbeat and showed off her infectious smile as she was greeted by television reporters at their family home before driving to the hospital.
It appears she happily agreed to give the journalists a brief update on Bert’s condition and how the family were travelling.
The former singer and stage performer used a special scooter to rest her injured leg on as she balanced herself for the brief chat.
She later wheeled herself along the pathway to the hospital’s entrance.
Updates: The Newtons are said to be staying positive, with Patti happily speaking with numerous TV reporters before making visiting Bert
Life change: Mr Ford said Bert and his wife of 47 years, Patti Newton, are preparing for a major adjustment once he gets home from hospital
‘Patti doesn’t want him to go into a nursing home’: According to Mr Ford, the Newtons have plans to renovate the family home to make it more accessible for Bert
Mr Ford said Bert and his wife of 47 years, Patti Newton, are preparing for a major adjustment once he gets home from hospital.
‘It’s a big decision for anyone to make [to amputate], but it’s also a practical thing, because they live in a two-storey place with the bedrooms and the bathrooms upstairs, so they’re now having to convert the house downstairs because Patti doesn’t want him to go into a nursing home,’ he said.
However, the Newtons are said to be staying positive and don’t want the public to think of Bert’s amputation as a ‘sad’ story.
Mr Ford said: ‘They [the Newton family] said, “We had a choice. Other people don’t have a choice. Bert wants to keep on living, because he adores Patti, his children and his grandkids, and he wants to have as much time as he can with them.”‘
Amputation: Australian television legend Bert Newton had his leg amputated on the weekend after his toe became infected before Christmas. Pictured in Melbourne on August 17, 2019
Doctors reportedly told Bert last week that amputating the leg would save his life, but keeping the leg would mean he’d have just ‘months to live’.
He consented to the surgery on Saturday, entertainment reporter Mr Ford claimed on radio on Monday.
‘[The infection] got worse… he was seeing doctors and specialists and they couldn’t seem to get it right; it kept on spreading,’ Mr Ford explained.
‘Basically he was told last week, “You have a couple of months to live, or if you have your leg amputated, you’ll probably have a few years.” So he agreed to have the leg amputated on Saturday.’
Health struggles: The 82-year-old, who has battled ill health for years, was told the surgery was a ‘life or death decision’, entertainment reporter Peter Ford said on Monday. Bert is pictured here with his wife of 47 years, Patti Newton
Visit: Patti, who recently broke her ankle, had been pictured visiting her husband in hospital in Melbourne on April 28, accompanied by her daughter, Lauren
While Bert’s health has been a concern for almost 10 years now, the exact nature of his latest ailment wasn’t made public until Monday.
Patti, 76, who recently broke her ankle, had been pictured visiting her husband in hospital on April 28, accompanied by her daughter, Lauren.
On November 19, she had posted a photo to Instagram of Bert in hospital as he battled a mystery illness, which may have been his toe infection.
‘Bert’s been in hospital [but] all good. He’s got a lot of living to do,’ she wrote in the caption.
Unwell: On November 19, Patti had posted this photo to Instagram of Bert in hospital as he battled a mystery illness, which may have been his toe infection
However, he seemed to be in better health by Christmas Day, when he joined his family for lunch at a Chinese restaurant at Crown Melbourne.
Patti’s Instagram activity about this time suggests her husband was discharged from hospital for the duration of the holiday period.
Bert’s health first became a concern in 2012 when he underwent a quadruple bypass.
Family: However, he seemed to be in better health by Christmas Day, when he joined his family for lunch at Crown Melbourne. Bert and Patti are pictured with their daughter, Lauren, her husband, Matt Welsh, and their six children, Sam, Eva, Lola, Monty, Perla and Alby
In the years following the surgery, he was hospitalised three times with pneumonia and was also diagnosed with anemia.
Anemia can make a person feel tired or weak because there are not enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues.
The four-time Gold Logie winner told reporters outside hospital in 2017 that he was feeling better after being treated for pneumonia.
‘I’m feeling better now. It took a while. I didn’t realise until I copped it the first time, that pneumonia is such a serious thing, but I’m feeling better now,’ he said at the time.
Declining health: Bert’s health first became a concern in 2012 when he underwent a quadruple bypass. In the years following the surgery, he was hospitalised three times with pneumonia and was also diagnosed with anemia. Pictured in hospital with one of his grandchildren