Charlie Teo patient defends neurosurgeon after attack leaves ‘vegetable patch’ at hospitals across Australia

Charlie Teo patient defends neurosurgeon after attack leaves 'vegetable patch' at hospitals across Australia

Dr Charlie Teo has spoken out in defense of a embattled neurosurgeon after a patient was found guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct.

Kelly-Anne Goodwin, 21, met Dr Teo when the brain cancer she had been battling since she was nine years old came back and other doctors told her it was inoperable.

Now in her late 30s, Ms Goodwin is confined to a wheelchair but told The Saturday Telegraph that she is incredibly grateful for the life Dr Teo has given her and will always ‘be behind him’.

He currently relies on assistance from support staff to eat, take his medication, get out of bed, shower and manage his catheter.

Ms Goodwin’s comments followed an attack on Dr Teo in the wake of the Healthcare Complaints Commission’s (HCCC) findings that he failed to properly inform two of his patients of the risks involved in ‘experimental’ operations from which they failed to recover.

‘No one understands that Dr Teor has huge vegetable patches scattered across many hospitals in Australia,’ an anonymous intensive care doctor told the Sydney Morning Herald.

The doctor claims that Dr Teo’s patients ‘should die of their disease’ but instead remain in a vegetative state.

Former patient Kelly-Anne Goodwin advocates for embattled brain surgeon Dr Charlie Teo

Dr Teo was reprimanded by the HCCC for unsatisfactory professional conduct on two patients who suffered disastrous results from his operations (pictured with Tracy Griffiths)

Restrictions imposed by the HCCCC, including obtaining permission from fellow surgeons before operating, forced Dr Teo to admit his career in Australia was over and he would have to work overseas.

Fans of the surgeon plan to walk across the Sydney Harbor Bridge on September 17 to show their support.

‘Many have asked what you can do to show your support… Well, I would be honored if you would join me in solidarity on the Sydney Harbor Bridge,’ Dr Teo wrote to supporters a week ago.

Mrs. Goodwin will be among them.

In a video message this week, Grafton thanked local Dr Teo for saving his life and said he would ‘see you in Sydney’.

Her mother Catherine Fordham told the newspaper Kelly-Ann was ‘basically back to being a baby’ after her first operation as a child and needed help to relearn how to walk, talk and take care of herself.

But she fought back and graduated high school only to have the cancer return in her early twenties when her oncologist told her nothing could be done.

The couple raised money with the help of the local community and traveled to Sydney to seek the help of a neurosurgeon.

He said Dr. Teo clearly explained the risks to them, including that Kelly-Ann could lose significant brain function.

‘He told us: ‘I can’t guarantee I can do it, all I can do is try’ and we went out with some faint hope,’ said Mrs Fordham.

Kelly-Ann, who ran for Grafton’s Jacaranda Queen last year with the help of her fellow workers, no longer needs brain surgery.

Her social media photos show her attending a ‘wind up dance party’ for the 2022 Jacaranda Festival, going on a helicopter tour and dining at a cafe.

The pair were planning an interstate holiday but said they would call it off at short notice to show their support for Dr Teo in protest.

Ms Goodwin (pictured on a recent helicopter tour) said she was grateful for what Dr Teo had done for her.

Her comments echo those of Queensland woman Amy Kennedy who told 7News in October that she felt her life was over until Dr Teo offered to help.

After two operations to remove a brain tumor as a teenager, it grew back and doubled in size, prompting his doctors to tell him to make the most of the time he had left.

She sought Dr Teo’s help as a 19-year-old and said she was fully informed of the risks before the surgery.

‘I’m 36 now, I’m married, have two kids and I’m still alive,’ he said.

Dr Teo said he would now look to China for surgeries as they were ‘committed’ to him and would continue to perform occasional surgeries in Europe and parts of Southeast Asia.

He said he was ‘but not surprised’ by the conditions placed on his practice, but would ‘never’ admit that he failed to obtain proper consent or lacked compassion for his patients.

Teo appeared before the Medical Professional Standards Committee in February with allegations that he decided to operate on two patients where the risks of surgery outweighed the potential benefits of the operation.

It was also alleged that he did not obtain informed consent from patients before surgery, charged a patient an improper fee of $35,000, and spoke inappropriately to that patient’s daughter after surgery.

The committee said in its decision that they had ‘found these elements of the allegations proved’.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here