‘I love him so’: Olivia Newton-John reveals heartbreak over brother’s death

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Olivia Newton-John's brother Hugh passed away earlier this month. Source: Getty and Instagram/ therealonj

Olivia Newton-John has penned a heartfelt message about her “dear” brother Hugh after he passed away earlier this month following a long battle with an illness.

The actress took to social media on Friday to share the heartbreaking news in a post alongside a montage of photos, showing Hugh from his childhood years through to recently, commending the doctor’s dedication to helping those in need.

While the 70-year-old didn’t reveal the cause of Hugh’s death on May 7, she claimed “recent years have not been kind” for her sibling.

“My dear, sweet, gentle, clever, brother Hugh passed away May 7, 2019, in Melbourne, Australia after many years of decline,” Olivia wrote alongside the collage of photographs..

“I love him so and will miss him terribly.”

View this post on Instagram

My dear, sweet, gentle, clever, brother Hugh passed away May 7, 2019, in Melbourne, Australia after many years of decline.I love him so and will miss him terribly.Love & light, Olivia Vale – Dr. Hugh Newton-John Sadly, Hugh Newton-John died recently after a long battle with debility and decline.Hugh was a well-respected infectious diseases clinician at Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital in Melbourne during the 1970s and 80s where his lively personality, sharp intellect and amazing ability to reassess complex infectious diseases was highly regarded.Hugh was an innovator, an astute clinician and a wonderful teacher and mentor to generations of medical students, residents and ID trainees. Hugh was also a talented musician and artist who shared his gifts with many friends, colleagues and associates throughout his entire life. As a clinician-investigator Hugh led many key research projects, particularly among patients requiring care in the hospital's intensive care unit.These included the optimal means of managing tetanus, helping identify the link between recent Campylobacter gastroenteritis and the subsequent development of Guillain-Barre syndrome and improving the ventilation methods for polio patients who required long-term ventilation, as well as developing new approaches to preventing airway obstruction among patients with chronic upper airway weakness. He was a keen photographer and enjoyed recording patient stories about their illnesses and how they managed. Many of the classic clinical infectious diseases photos and audio recordings that now form part of the massive Fairfield Collection, owe their origins and meticulous cataloguing to Hugh's efforts – many have now been included in the key Australian ID textbook "Infectious Diseases: a clinical approach; third edition" (Eds: Yung, Spelman, Street, et al.). Recent years have not been kind to Hugh, but although he is now at peace, his memory and legacy will live on among those who worked and trained with him and the many patients who benefited from his fabulous care. Submitted by Lindsay Grayson, Anne Mijch, Jenny Hoy and Suzanne Crowe

A post shared by Olivia Newton-john (@therealonj) on May 23, 2019 at 10:32am PDT

The Grease star also shared a statement from several professors from the Burnet Institute, an Australian medical research institute. Hugh was described as having a “lively personality” and an “innovator” who helped students follow their dreams.

“Sadly, Hugh Newton-John died recently after a long battle with debility and decline,” they wrote. “Hugh was a well-respected infectious diseases clinician at Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital in Melbourne during the 1970s and ’80s where his lively personality, sharp intellect and amazing ability to reassess complex infectious diseases was highly regarded.

“Hugh was an innovator, an astute clinician and a wonderful teacher and mentor to generations of medical students, residents and ID trainees. Hugh was also a talented musician and artist who shared his gifts with many friends, colleagues and associates throughout his entire life.”

The professors then went into detail about what exactly Hugh accomplished in his life and how he linked his love of photography into his job.

“As a clinician-investigator Hugh led many key research projects, particularly among patients requiring care in the hospital’s intensive care unit,” the message continued.

“These included the optimal means of managing tetanus, helping identify the link between recent Campylobacter gastroenteritis and the subsequent development of Guillain-Barre syndrome and improving the ventilation methods of polio patients who required long-term ventilation, as well as developing new approaches to preventing airway obstruction among patients with chronic upper airway weakness.”

They added: “He was a keen photographer and enjoyed recording patient stories about their illnesses and how they managed. Many of the classical clinical infectious diseases photos and audio recordings that now form part of the massive Fairfield Collection, owe their origins and meticulous cataloguing to Hugh’s efforts – many have now been included in the key Australian ID textbook Infectious Diseases: a clinical approach; third edition.”

The statement was finished with a beautiful message about how Hugh will always be remembered for his achievements.

“Recent years have not been kind to High, but although he is now at peace, his memory and legacy will live on among those who worked and trained with him and the many patients who benefited from his fabulous care,” it read.

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