The wife of Australian TV legend Bert Newton has spoken outside hospital after her husband of 46 years had his leg amputated in emergency life-saving surgery.
Speaking to reporters on Monday afternoon outside Epworth Hospital in Melbourne, Patti Newton described the weekend emergency operation as “huge”.
“He got through the operation, it was huge. It was a very big day for everybody. It was needed,” she said.
Bert, 82, and Patti have two adult children. Lauren, who is married to swimmer Matt Welsh and have six children together, and Matt, an actor who has appeared in several Australia films and TV dramas.
“He had a choice and his choice was to live, really. He decided that to live he would have to go through all this. He has the support of all his family. We’ve all been gathered around him a lot.
“It’s mainly for the grandchildren as he wants to watch them grow,” she said.
“All I want everyone to know, lovely support, so many messages from fabulous people, some very funny. I will tell him eventually.
“He’s in really good sprits, he’s got a big journey ahead of him, as we all have,” she said.
“But you know know Bert, onward and upward and I’m sure he’ll be fine.”
Newton underwent surgery in Melbourne on Saturday after doctors told him he would have only months to live without the operation.
He has spent the last six weeks in hospital, since a toe infection he contracted around Christmas became a serious medical issue.
A series of doctors and vascular surgeons had investigated the worsening infection and provided specialist advice, and the TV star’s leg has been amputated below the knee.
She arrived on her own knee scooter with her foot in a moon boot after breaking her ankle in a fall.
The ABC reported she broke her ankle while on her way into hospital to visit Bert.
“It’s early days so we have to just take a day at a time – it’s a good name for a song, one day at a time,” she said.
The celebrity couple will have to remodel their house to put a bathroom on the ground floor, so they are able to recover at home.
Several entertainment personalities have posted their reaction to news of the operation on her Instagram page.
“Dear Patti just heard news about Bert … So, so, sorry to hear of such dramatic and stressful changes to both your lives. Sending much love and strength to both of you,” radio presenter Jane Kennedy wrote.
“Sending so much love to you and Bert with everything that is going on in your world. You are such an amazing couple and we wish you only good things ahead,” wrote television presenter Angela Bishop.
Last November Patti Newton posted a photo of her husband lying in a hospital bed wearing a mask.
“Bert’s been in hospital, all good,” she wrote.
“He’s got a Lot of Living to Do.”
Newton has battled several health issues in the past, including hospitalisation with pneumonia in 2017.
He also underwent quadruple bypass surgery in 2012.
Newton won four Gold Logies during his career spanning seven decades, acknowledged globally as an industry pioneer in Australian television since broadcasting began in 1956.
For more than 30 years, Newton appeared as the funny sidekick on The Don Lane Show before becoming the host of Channel 10’s Good Morning Australia.
He has also starred in several theatre productions including The Wizard of Oz, Wicked, Beauty and the Beast and The Rocky Horror Show.