Bert Newton’s wife of 47 years, Patti Newton, has spoken publicly about her husband’s recent “life or death” surgery. News broke on Monday morning that the television icon had to have his leg amputated after contracting an infection. According to entertainment reporter Peter Ford, who announced the news live on radio at the time, Bert, 82, had been suffering from an infected toe for four months before the emergency operation.
Now, speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Patti, 76, has detailed the scary ordeal, saying she had “never seen anybody in more pain” than her husband on the morning of his operation. She went on to say that Bert made a choice to live when deciding to go ahead with the amputation, adding he has a “long journey” ahead of him but “he is strong”.
“I came in on Saturday at 6.30am and I saw him before he was operated on,” she revealed. “I just felt he could not go through pain like he was going through for much longer.”
Bert went into surgery at 7.50am on Saturday and Patti didn’t get the results until 3pm (the same day). “It was a long day and a long wait,” she said. “The operation did not take that long, but it was about waiting for him to come out of recovery.”
Patti said that while this amputation is not a nice thing to have happen, “it’s not a death sentence”, adding that she’s sure Bert will get back into the swing of things in no time. “Because he has so much to live for, he will do his utmost to make this work,” she said. “Where there’s a will, there is a way and that is him. He is strong.”
Patti, who is herself recovering from a broken ankle, and Bert will no doubt have to make some small adjustments to their double-story Melbourne townhouse.
Bert has been in and out of hospital the past few months. A month before Christmas, Patti uploaded a pic of the entertainer lying in a hospital bed. At the time, she reassured fans that he was “all good”.
Back in 2017, the TV personality was rushed to hospital after getting pneumonia. “Pneumonia is not a very nice thing,” Bert said at the time, explaining it was the third time he’d had it. The renowned former host of Good Morning Australia also underwent major heart surgery in 2012.