Australian television icon Bert Newton has broken his silence for the first time since undergoing a life-saving leg amputation.
On Sunday, the 82-year-old told The Telegraph that he was ‘overwhelmed’ with the love and care he’d received since the news broke, before thanking everyone for their ongoing support.
‘This is my first week and I seem to be getting through it,’ he said.
Doing well: Australian television icon Bert Newton has broken his silence for the first time since having life-saving surgery which resulted in his leg being amputated
‘The amount of care and love I’ve received from everyone has been overwhelming. All I want to say is thank you to everyone.’
His doting wife Patti, who has been married to Bert for 47 years, went on to discuss why he decided to make the difficult decision to remove his limb.
‘He has so much to live for he will do his utmost to make this work,’ Patti said.
‘We have been together for over 50 years and you just want to get as much out of it (life) as you can in the latter years.’
Road to recovery: On Wednesday, Bert was pictured for the first time since his surgery after Patti shared a sweet image of him alongside youngest grandchild Alby while lying in a hospital bed
She added that their grandchildren Sam, Eva, Lola, Monty, Perla and Alby ‘mean the world’ to him, and he wants to be around to spend as much time as possible with them.
Bert is still on the road to recovery, and expected to remain in hospital for several more weeks following the amputation.
On Wednesday he was pictured for the first time since his surgery, with Patti sharing a sweet image of her husband alongside their youngest grandchild Alby while lying in a hospital bed.
‘Thank you everyone for your prayers and beautiful words,’ she captioned the photo.
Bert consented to the amputation after spending six weeks at Melbourne’s Epworth Hospital, where his condition had been steadily worsening.
Patti previously told The Daily Telegraph she had ‘never seen anybody in more pain’ than her husband on the morning of his operation.
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
She added: ‘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 learned it had been a success at 3pm. ‘It was a long day and a long wait,’ she said.
Bert’s toe became infected before Christmas.
Fighter: 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’
The infection was ‘linked to his diabetes’ and was threatening his life, A Current Affair‘s Seb Costello reported on Monday night.
The Good Morning Australia host, who has battled ill health for years, was told the surgery was a ‘life or death decision’, entertainment journalist Peter Ford first reported on 3AW Breakfast on Monday.
Mr Ford, who had been in contact with the Newton family, said the infection kept getting worse and spreading, leaving doctors no choice but to amputate.
He said Bert and Patti were 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.”‘
Adjustments: Mr Ford said Bert and Patti were preparing for a major adjustment once he gets home from hospital. Bert and Patti are pictured with their daughter, Lauren, her husband, Matt Welsh, and their six children, Sam, Eva, Lola, Monty, Perla and Alby