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Brave Bert's greatest gift

Monday, December 3, 2012
Brave Bert's greatest gift

TV legend Bert Newton’s life-saving heart surgery is bringing his shattered family back together again.

Just when Patti Newton thought this year couldn’t get any worse, it did. Within days of taking her husband Bert to the GP with chest pains he’d kept secret for weeks, he was being wheeled into surgery for a life-saving quadruple bypass.

Suddenly, she was faced with the prospect of losing her husband of almost 40 years. It comes at the end of a year in which the much-loved personality has battled her own terrifying health problems, watched her son Matthew spiral out of control, and sat by her granddaughter Lola’s hospital bed when the bub stopped breathing at just three weeks old.

Always the rock of the family, Patti was beginning to crumble. But now, as 74-year-old Bert continues to recuperate in Melbourne’s Epworth Hospital, Patti, 67, is looking to 2013 with renewed hope and enthusiasm, thanks to a simple phone call. On the other end of the line was a voice from the opposite side of the world – that of her troubled son Matthew, who seems to finally be getting his life together.

“He rang to find out how Bert was doing and to send his love,’’ says a source. “It was very special to Patti.’’ In recent times, Bert and Patti have stayed in touch with the actor through his lawyers for updates on his court cases. Matthew, 35, narrowly escaped prison in America after he was charged with trespassing and assaulting a hotel clerk in two separate, rage-fuelled incidents in Miami. He was fined $11,000 and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service.

Read more about the Newton family reunion in this week's Woman’s Day on sale Monday December 3, 2012.

Realted video: Bert Newton recovering well.

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