The much-loved star suf­feredd a shock­ing fall that could have killed her – just monthss af­ter she al­most lost Bert

Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Celebrity News -

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.

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