PATTI’S MIRACLE ESCAPE!
The much-loved star sufferedd a shocking fall that could have killed her – just monthss after she almost lost Bert
It was meant to be a relaxed family get-together after a rollercoaster year – including a secret health crisis with one of Patti and Bert Newton’s young grandchildren – that left Australia’s leading showbiz family feeling under enormous strain.
Patti and Bert invited daughter Lauren and her husband, Olympic swim star Matt Welsh, to bring their four beloved grandchildren down to the beach house on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula that has been their haven.
But their own personal paradise almost became the scene of their worst tragedy yet last week when Patti slipped on wet tiles around their pool and smashed her head.
Fearing the worst, Bert and Lauren rushed Patti – with her head wound still bleeding – to Victoria’s Frankston Hospital, after they were told not to wait for an ambulance. Once there, she was tested to see if she had suffered neurological damage.
“Poor Bert was terrified. He was worried she had injured her brain and may have suffered a terrible injury,” reveals a family friend. “He and Lauren tried to keep calm, but there was quite a lot of blood and they moved very quickly to save her.”
But brave Patti, 72, proved to be an “absolute trouper”, even posting a shot of herself on Instagram holding her hand up in a peace sign while flat on her back in a neck brace in her hospital bed following the harrowing ordeal last Tuesday.
“Had a bad fall and hit my head,” she confirmed. “I’m
so lucky, after scans [I have] no permanent damage, just a very sore and glued head.”
The scare could not have come at a worse time for the Newtons. The couple have been “out of their minds” with worry about one of their grandchildren, who was recently admitted to the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne for tests for a mystery illness.
“Patti has been stressed to the eyeballs,” her close friend says. “Doctors have been testing to see what is wrong, and Patti and Bert have been praying for answers. “Patti loves those kids like nothing else, and if something happened to one of them she would be shattered. She spends every waking moment with them.”
In fact, it hasn’t been an easy road for the entire extended family. In 2015, it was Lauren who had a scare when she suffered excessive bleeding and tore her placenta at 15 weeks while pregnant with her fourth child, Monty. He was safely delivered but was rushed to hospital and resuscitated when he was just a few months old. Coincidentally, the youngster broke his collarbone on the same day as Patti’s accident.
Patti’s friend says that while she’s putting on a brave face in public, she’s very bruised and battered from the fall. But she’s hugely relieved that she suffered no brain damage, as she knows 79-year-old Bert would not cope without her by his side.
“They are the most loving couple in the world and Patti still does absolutely everything for Bert,” says the friend.
“We’re all incredibly happy it’s turned out the way it has. The Newtons have had enough pain in their lives.”
Just last month, Bert admitted he considered every day a blessing after he was told he had just a 50/50 chance of surviving the quadruple bypass heart surgery he underwent in November 2012.
“Every morning is a bonus,” Bert, who was also rushed to hospital with pneumonia earlier this year, told the Herald Sun.
“I wasn’t close to death, although on a couple of occasions I almost felt it,” he later quipped.
“Every morning when I wake up I read the death columns in the paper, and if I am not there we get up and away we go again. I think you have to go through it to realise that [with] we mortals, it is a fine line and I am grateful.”
With the recent stress on Patti combined with her head injury, concerned friends are also hoping the transient global amnesia, which she has suffered from periodically since 2009, doesn’t strike her again.
“She doesn’t deserve anything more right now,” says her friend. “She needs a break!”
‘There was a lot of blood... they moved quickly to save her’
Matt and Lauren with kids Sam, nine, Monty, 19 months, Lola, five, and Eva, eight. Patti was rushed to Frankston Hospital (below) and put in a neck brace.