“You know Bert … onward and upward. I’m sure he will be fine, we are hoping anyway,” she shared, promising that her husband of 46 years, who Patti shares son Matthew, 44, and daughter Lauren, 41, with, was very much in “good spirits”.
Certainly, Bert’s health has been an ongoing battle for the best part of the last decade.
In 2011, Bert, a diagnosed diabetic, spent a week in hospital after catching viral pneumonia. Just a year later he underwent lifesaving quadruple bypass surgery before making regular visits to hospital, most recently up until November 2020.
As well as the star’s unwavering resilience, Bert and Patti’s five-decade-long love affair has been on full display since the news broke.
“We have been together for over 50 years, so I am not going to leave him now,” Patti revealed.
“He keeps saying, ‘You will hang around, won’t you?’ And I say, ‘Yes I will.’”
Of course, Bert is also “hanging around” for his six grandchildren from Lauren and her husband, Matthew Welsh.
“We have gathered around him a lot and it’s mainly for the grandchildren because he wants to watch them grow,” explained Patti.
The proud grandparents share Sam, 11, Eva, 9, Lola, 6, Monty, 3, Perla, 2, and son Alby, 9 months – who was named in Bert’s honour. The entire family remain hopeful that ‘Poppy Bert’ will live to see them become adults.
Despite his lengthy and successful television career, Bert has always relished in his most important role as grandfather.
“I realise now how lucky I am to have the family I have – family is the one thing I’m totally sure of,” he said in 2020.
The journey ahead for Bert and his family will no doubt be tough, with renovations at his Melbourne mansion already underway to accommodate his change of life, but one thing is certain: Bert’s fighting spirit remains steadfast.
To read more, pick up this week's issue of New Idea, on sale now.