United Kingdom

Bert Newton has his leg amputated: TV star's 'life or death decision'

Australian television legend Bert Newton has reportedly had his leg amputated at a hospital in Melbourne after his toe became infected before Christmas.

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 claimed on The Morning Rush with Sean and Kate on Monday. 

Mr Ford, who has been in contact with the Newton family, said the infection kept getting worse and spreading, leaving doctors no choice but to amputate. 

Amputation: Australian television legend Bert Newton has had his leg amputated 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, Mr Ford claimed.

'[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 claimed on Monday. Bert is pictured here with his wife of 47 years, Patti Newton

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."'

Daily Mail Australia has contacted the Newtons for comment. 

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 today.

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

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