There would not be many Australians that have not heard of Dr Teo, and just in case you have not, he is the most innovative neurological surgeon we have in this country. The only surgeon who is prepared to perform operations on the brain that are both incredibly risky and life changing when successful.
Just recently he was once again on TV being grilled about the fees he charges to perform these surgeries. For the everyday family finding on average $150k is no easy task, but if a life depended on it, you will do all you can. Considering he only pockets around $10k due to the incredibly high costs associated with these operations, trying to use bullying tactics to keep him from performing his magic is a low swipe.
Many old school neuro surgeons are not prepared to take the risks Dr Teo does and are going out of their way to keep him blocked from access to public hospitals and some would love to see him never operate again. Unfortunately this attitude is costing lives!
Its only when you actually know someone that needs his help, you fully appreciate his value and skill.
When a 10 year old girls goes from being normal and healthy,but within a couple of months is suffering from migraines, uncontrollable vomiting, blurred vision and absolute exhaustion it takes a mothers instinct to realise that something is very wrong with your child that you continually present to the emergency department and push for them to expand their testing until the true cause is revealed.
It took that long for the decision to be made to send her for CT scan and then an MRI and bam…..they discover a 2cm symptomatic benign cystic tumor is living right in the middle of her brain that was restricting cerebral fluid flow and causing major effects on important bodily functions.
After a two week wait for an appointment with the head of Neurosurgery in Brisbane resulted in a very disappointing diagnosis of ‘we will not be performing surgery and we will just wait and see if it is growing’ attitude….in other words ‘I am not able to perform this surgery, but my ego is too big to admit that to you’ and treating this family with disdain, a call was made to Dr Teo and her file was sent to his office for appraisal.
In the midst of all this, Jorja experienced a black out, which should have been fatal, but thankfully it was not and Dr Teo explained that this surgery could not be delayed and a week after the family met him, surgery was scheduled.
This awesome young girl is a member of my daughters physie club and this letter was penned by Miss WW whilst the 4 hour procedure was being performed and published when she successfully came out the other side.
“As many of you may have heard, there is a fairly common saying… “It isn’t Brain Surgery”. However, sometimes – and unfortunately in this case. It WAS brain surgery. Normal, healthy and fine one minute followed by a couple of weeks of very scary events led our Jorja to Dr Teo’s hands.
Don’t get me wrong, ANY surgeon is incredible and deserves the world BUT Teo is something else.
Most doctors told Jorj that her cyst was inoperable, many even got offended at the suggestion of the contrary. Initially, the thought was that she could live a relatively normal life under monitoring to ensure this cyst isn’t growing. Except, everything wasn’t “normal” – Physie was hard, she was sick often as a result. How is this a “normal” life? When the thing Jorj loves most is no longer simple?
After that, something worse happens and in a moment of blackout, she wakes up from something her body shouldn’t have survived in the first place.
So now, we KNOW she needs it operated on but here’s the catch. Teo is the only one in Australia that can perform the operation.
Then the reality hits, and Jorj finally meets Teo in person… to which he confirms that yes, he will and does need to operate.
Teo, on behalf of everyone at both Brisbane & Ipswich City Physie and personally on behalf of Myself and Kim – thank you.
We know that not everyone will be able to have this surgery, all because other heads of Neurosurgery will not invite Teo to operate in their public hospitals. So, for us this is not the end.
We will be embarking on a continual fundraising event for the Dr Charlie Teo foundation. Whether is be for awareness, for funding or simply support – we will be behind the foundation every step of the way. Because we quite literally owe him a life.
Moving forward, the Ipswich City Physie annual Scholarship Award will be renamed.
“The Teo-Smith Annual Scholarship Award“
This is so we can provide a special student each year, with the opportunity to continue to do what they love – just like Teo has done for Jorja.
I have no way of knowing if Dr Teo will every read this, but if you do – thank you.”
Jorja will not be able to go to school for 12 months and has a ton of rehabilitation to go through, but 24 hours post op she was in the hospital hallway practicing her physie, one of her true passion at this stage in her life.
I truly hope you and your family never need the services of Dr Teo, but for those that do, we need to make every effort we can to make his services available to all that need them. A recent petition was opened with Change.org and received over 140,000 signatures has now closed and they are using those signatures to try and take action, but if you are able to support the Charlie Teo Foundation that is a small step you can take to help those in need.
In my eyes Dr Teo is both a magician and an amazing surgeon who deserves full support and not the shaming he so often receives from the majority of those in his speciality are quick to deliver as they focus on protecting their reputations. Every surgery has its risks, but if the only outcome you can look forward to is early death by not having it done, then that risk is sure as hell worth taking!
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