Bert Newton, 82, has leg amputated due to infection: 'Life or death'

Bert Newton has had his leg amputated in a 'life or death' decision, according to reports.

The 82-year-old Aussie showbiz icon underwent the surgery on Saturday, with entertainment reporter Peter Ford breaking the story on the radio show The Morning Rush with Sean and Kate on Monday morning.

Bert Newton attends the opening night of Shrek The Musical
Bert Newton (pictured in February 2020) has reportedly had his leg amputated. Photo: Getty Images.

Ford revealed that Newton's current health issue had begun before Christmas last year with a toe infection that 'kept on spreading'.

“It got worse... he was seeing doctors and specialists and they couldn’t seem to get it right, it kept on spreading," Ford said.

"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," he added.


According to Ford, it was a "life or death decision that was presented" to quadruple Gold Logie winner Newton.

Bert Newton in a hospital hospital bed wearing a white gown, face mask and surgical hair covering
Patti Newton shared this photo of her husband Bert in hospital on November 19, 2020. Photo: Instagram/pattinewtonofficial.

Bert’s wife Patti addressed reporters outside Melbourne’s Epworth Hospital, saying the family would adjust to a “new normal”.

Patti said her husband was in good spirits after what had been "a very big day for everybody” on Saturday.

“He had a choice and his choice was to live,” she said, via 7 News. “His words were: ‘Let’s do this with a positive attitude’.”

'Wants to keep on living'

Ford went on to say that the decision to proceed with Newton's amputation also brought with it some practical implications due to where he and wife Patti live.

"It’s a big decision for anyone to make, but it’s also a practical thing because they live in a two-storey place with the bedrooms and the bathrooms upstairs," he explained.

"So they’re now having to convert the house downstairs because Patti doesn’t want him to go into a nursing home," he added.

The Newtons, however, were adamant that they didn't consider the recent events as a 'sad story,' said Ford.

"They 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'."

Newton has two children, actor Matthew Newton and TV personality Lauren Newton who has six children of her own.

A photo of Bert and Patti Newton
Bert and Patti Newton have been married for almost 50 years. Photo: Instagram/pattinewtonofficial.

'Sombre and serious'

Ford appeared on The Morning Show later that day to reveal more details about how he found out about Newton's procedure.

"I got a call last night from Patti Newton," he told hosts Kylie and Larry. "She sounded quite sombre and serious and she told me the news that on Saturday Bert Newton had a leg amputated."

He explained Patti had initially taken a photo of Newton's toe infection and sent it to a doctor, who recommended it be investigated by "specialists and vascular surgeons".

Ford added that Newton had been in hospital for the "past six weeks" where he will remain to recuperate and undergo rehab for the immediate future.

He also touched on Patti's own health battle, which she shared with her followers online last month, after having broken her ankle.

"Patti's gone and broken her ankle getting in and out of the hospital just to add a bit of extra flavour to it all," he said as the photo of Patti's right leg in a 'moon boot' appeared on screen.

patti newton broken ankle
Patti shared a photo of her own current situation online. Photo: Instagram/pattinewtonofficial.

Newton's health woes

Back in November, Newton's wife of 47 years, Patti Newton, took to Instagram to announce the former Good Morning Australia host had been admitted to hospital.

"Berts been in hospital, all good," she captioned a photo of Newton in a hospital bed wearing a face mask.

"'He's got a Lot of Living to Do'," she added.

While the cause of his hospitalisation was unclear, Patti said at the time that Newton was expected to stay in hospital for a week before starting rehabilitation "to improve his strength and fitness".

Prior to that, the multi-talented entertainer has fought his way through numerous health complications.

Golden Logie winner for 1981 Bert Newton and his wife Petty, arrive at Ansett terminal for flight home to Melbourne. April 11, 1981. (Photo by Antony Matheus Linsen/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).
Bert and Patty bring his Gold Logie awards home to Melbourne on April 11, 1981. Photo: Getty Images.

Newton spent time in hospital in 2011 after catching viral pneumonia and in 2012 he underwent quadruple bypass heart surgery.

In April 2017 he was rushed to Melbourne’s Epworth Hospital suffering from anaemia, with Patti staying by his side.

And in July 2019, an anonymous family friend told Woman’s Day Newton’s health was declining.

"He is very weak, very frail and he's ailing at an alarming rate," they told the magazine.

"Patti doesn't even like to leave him alone for more than a couple of hours. She's been out of her mind with worry for weeks."

Newton's rep has been contacted for comment.

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