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Household says neurosurgeon’s instructed them ‘Surgical procedure tomorrow or she accepts demise’


Meiry and Claudia, two of Erny’s 5 daughters, stay in Australia. After listening to about Teo’s legendary talent, they took their mom to Sydney to get a second opinion in regards to the attainable functioning of her mind tumor.

The sisters recall that Teo opened a session saying that the household did the appropriate factor once they got here to see him. Whereas respecting the recommendation of the Singapore neurosurgeon, Teo instructed them his “risk-to-benefit ratio” was significantly better than that of different surgeons.

“We paid him for her indescribable ache and struggling.”

Meiry Huang, daughter of affected person Charlie Teo

Erny, who doesn’t converse English, may be very drained and burdened however her daughters say she is at all times smiling and attempting to speak her issues.

The sisters say the mind surgeon instructed them the surgical procedure had severe dangers however he was assured it could be a hit.

When Meiry was speaking to her mom in Chinese language, Teo interjected a number of instances, saying, “I am one of the best… there isn’t any one higher on this world, nobody.”

After telling them their mom “both has to have surgical procedure tomorrow or she accepts demise”, the household went out into the hallways attempting to soak up the stunning information.

The household received a second opinion as a result of they did not count on to be instructed their mom was dying and the surgical procedure needed to be accomplished the subsequent day in the event that they needed to save lots of her. However as they instructed this front-page commercial, there was not just one one who gave them this hope, it was the well-known “miracle employee” Teo.

Nonetheless, the outcomes of their mom’s surgical procedure are dire and her daughters are feeling responsible and heartbroken as they imagine the hope Teo offered them.

Regardless that Teo instructed them the surgical procedure was profitable and that he had 95% of the tumor eliminated, Erny remained paralyzed on one facet. She can’t eat, drink, sit up or stand and she will now not talk usually.


“Principally, half of her physique is useless,” Claudia mentioned.

After paying about $100,000 for the surgical procedure, together with $40,000 for Teo personally plus $1275 in administration charges and personal hospital prices, post-operative problems, and Erny’s rehabilitation price the household an extra $150,000.

The household introduced their mom again to her house in Jakarta, the place she died on 10 November 2017.

“My mom lived the final 94 days of her life in utter distress…a hell on earth,” Meiry mentioned in her grievance to HCCC. She wrote: “I imagine he has considerably lowered the dangers of the surgical procedure and isn’t involved about her mom after the surgical procedure.

Meiry instructed HCCC that she and her sisters have been prepared to pay Teo “no matter he requested for” for the standard of life “he assured us my mom would”.

“We paid him as a substitute for her unspeakable ache and struggling,” she mentioned.

For her half, Teo denies downplaying the dangers or pressuring Erny Djie to make hasty selections concerning her surgical procedure. He additionally instructed HCCC that the grievance was “opposite to his common actions and his personal recollections”. Teo additionally denied the sisters’ declare that their mom had the selection of getting surgical procedure the subsequent day or dying. He additionally denied claiming he was “one of the best”.

Teo has accepted what he says, his “minimally invasive surgical procedure” presents a special threat/profit ratio than what is obtainable by most neurosurgeons.

One of many causes he gave the HCCC for the surgical procedure was: “Though the extent of resection is considerably controversial, on the time of surgical procedure it was assumed that whole basal resection was obligatory. (GTR) to make a statistically important distinction. to exist. “

Charlie Teo at the Sydney office in August 2021.

Charlie Teo on the Sydney workplace in August 2021.Credit score:Sam Ruttyn

HCCC discovered that the grievance discovered there was an issue with Teo acquiring “knowledgeable consent” for surgical procedure.

Nonetheless, Djie’s household is livid as a result of all that occurred was that HCCC wrote to Teo to remind him of his “ethical obligation” to supply sufferers with ample information. information and understanding of the dangers and advantages of surgical procedure to allow them to make knowledgeable selections. .

Teo has additionally beforehand expressed displeasure at being criticized for taking dangers in surgical procedure that others deemed unimaginable.

“I resent that each one sufferers have the appropriate to decide on for themselves… the dangers they’re prepared to take,” he mentioned.

Hall session

Rebecca Anderson was surprised when she was fired as a affected person for attempting to speak to Teo in regards to the dangers she was prepared to take.

In 2009, Anderson was identified with a mind tumor. Whereas it is benign, its location means it is a troublesome surgical procedure.

Rebecca Anderson, who was 'cancelled' by Charlie Teo and her sister Ilana Lamont as patients.

Rebecca Anderson, who was ‘cancelled’ by Charlie Teo and her sister Ilana Lamont as sufferers.Credit score:60 minutes

As a nurse on the identical hospital, Anderson’s first calling level was the well-known neurosurgeon. She marveled whereas he peeled and ate peanuts throughout her counseling session.

Given Teo’s repute as an aggressive surgeon, she needed to speak to him in regards to the stage of threat she was prepared to take.

Anderson mentioned she requested him to not be too aggressive in regards to the surgical procedure as a result of her tumor was slow-growing and non-malignant. “I need you to recollect who I’m. I’m a spouse, a mom and a nurse, and I’ve youngsters,” she instructed him.

Teo replied, “Nicely, that is not my fashion, however I will give it a attempt.”

Anderson grew more and more anxious as her surgical procedure approached and needed to debate her fears. She referred to as Teo’s workplace a number of instances, and though she was instructed Teo would get again to her, he by no means did.

When Anderson bumped into Teo within the hospital hallway, she was appalled by his response when she mentioned she simply needed to speak in regards to the dangers she was ready to take however she could not proceed. close to him.

“I do not discuss to anybody, why ought to I discuss to you? You’re nothing particular. ” He then instructed her that she had had “unhealthy karma” and that he would cancel her surgical procedure.

“Physician Teo strode down the hallway shouting over his shoulder, “Cancelled. Anderson mentioned.

“I used to be fully devastated. I used to be crammed with tears. Anderson’s husband Michael complained to Prince of Wales and Teo Non-public Hospital and obtained what they described as an ‘sorry/no apology’ letter from Teo.

When he mentioned he was “sadly” having to conform to a grievance about his conduct, he then mentioned “if a surgeon discovers a affected person conduct regarding he has each proper from refuse sufferers each ethically and legally.”

He then went on responsible Rebecca for the scenario changing into “nasty” when she tried to speak to him within the hallway.

Left or proper?

For an additional affected person, her blood went chilly when she heard Bonnie Tyler converse Complete photo voltaic eclipse of the guts. It was the track that performed as she was introduced into the working room for mind surgical procedure.

Charlie Teo has settled a complaint from Michelle Smith for having surgery on the wrong part of her brain.

Charlie Teo has settled a grievance from Michelle Smith for having surgical procedure on the unsuitable a part of her mind.Credit score:Wolter Peeters

In 2003, Teo operated on Michelle Smith at Prince of Wales Non-public Hospital to take away a tumor that brought about her seizures. Twelve weeks after surgical procedure, she had a follow-up appointment.

Displaying CT scans, Teo defined that he had among the tumors eliminated however would wish a second surgical procedure to take away the remainder. “All the pieces was nice. You would cease all of your medication,” Smith remembers him saying.

She adopted his recommendation however over time her seizures received worse and she or he could not hold a job not to mention drive a automobile.

Michelle Smith's 2014 brain scan.  The red circles indicate the location of the brain tumor, while the green indicates where Dr. Charlie Teo operated.

Michelle Smith’s 2014 mind scan. The purple circles point out the situation of the mind tumor, whereas the inexperienced signifies the place Dr. Charlie Teo operated.

In 2014, she was in a near-fatal automobile accident. Smith mentioned: “I had a convulsion once I received behind the wheel and hit two parked vehicles, knocking out three vehicles. After the accident, recent mind scans confirmed no tumors have been eliminated and Teo truly operated on the unsuitable facet of her mind.

13 years after her first surgical procedure, Michelle had one other surgical procedure to take away the tumor. This time, a neurosurgeon at a public hospital in Sydney operated totally free and since then Smith has been seizure-free and feels as if he has been given a brand new life. However Physician Teo’s mistake nonetheless made her depressing.

She feels Teo’s failed surgical procedure, coupled along with his lack of ability to just accept his errors, have robbed her of one of the best years of her life.

When instructed Teo had denied that he had operated on the unsuitable a part of her mind, Smith replied: “The CT scan would not lie. All are there. Perhaps he wants to take a look at them once more.”

In 2018, she sued Teo for medical malpractice and was settled confidentially.

“I’ve had a number of folks ask me why I’d even waste my time attempting to tackle the function of Charlie Teo as a result of he is untouchable,” Smith mentioned.

So why did Michelle do it? “As a result of nobody is untouchable,” she mentioned.

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