Charlie Teo breaks silence with emotional post about Perth ‘miracle girl’ Amelia ‘Milli’ Lucas

Adelaide LangNCA NewsWire
VideoWATCH: Brain surgeon Charlie Teo has hit back at criticism over the cost of his surgeries, saying he would perform the operations for free.

Controversial brain surgeon Charlie Teo compared himself to “an elite athlete” in a touching tribute to neurosurgery and the teen patient he called his “miracle girl”.

The former Australian of the Year finalist has been relatively quiet since conditions were imposed on his medical registration last year following complaints from colleagues.

Prior to the review of his medical practices, Dr Teo had built his reputation by operating on those with incurable or inoperable brain cancers.

One of his most well-known patients was Amelia “Milli” Lucas, a 14-year-old girl from Perth who crowdfunded $170,000 to afford Dr Teo’s services and flew to Sydney for the operation.

Dr Charlie Teo wrote an emotional tribute to 14-year-old Milli Lucas.
Camera IconDr Charlie Teo wrote an emotional tribute to 14-year-old Milli Lucas. Credit: News Corp Australia

Dr Teo hailed her as his “miracle girl” after he successfully removed 98 per cent of the life-threatening brain tumour with experimental surgery.

In a lengthy social media post, Dr Teo discussed Milli’s “simple but enlightening” legacy in a bid to attract funding for his eponymous brain cancer charity.

“There is nothing worse than the death of a child,” he wrote.

He said the teen was “an exceptional example of how to make the most of one’s life” throughout her ongoing battle with cancer, which claimed her life in January 2021.

“When faced with adversity, you can be angry, resentful, bitter and consumed or you can accept the hand that you’ve been dealt and make the most of what you have,” he said.

“(Milli) was an engaging and beautiful soul. When I think about each time I saw her, she was always smiling. I loved her dearly.”

Dr Teo operates on a patient.
Camera IconDr Teo operates on a patient. Credit: News Corp Australia
Milli Lucas was operated on twice by Dr Teo.
Camera IconMilli Lucas was operated on twice by Dr Teo. Credit: News Corp Australia

According to Dr Teo, brain cancer is the most deadly disease for children in Australia, but research is woefully underfunded.

“It has a significant socio-economic impact on our society as a killer of children and young people, yet governments aren’t pouring in the research funding,” he wrote.

“Brain cancer isn’t a common cancer, so put simply: it doesn’t win votes.”

The high-profile brain surgeon asked for donations to his charity, The Charlie Teo Foundation, which he said was dedicated to funding the “desperately needed” research into brain cancer.

“It’s not fair that children like Milli are dying and there are no treatments for them,” he said.

“I don’t want to have to tell another parent, ‘I can’t save your child’.”

In the social media post, Dr Teo opened up about his passion for neurosurgery, which he admitted “hasn’t been an easy road”.

Specialist Dr Portrait
Camera IconDr Teo said brain cancer was the most deadly disease for children. Sam Ruttyn Credit: News Corp Australia

Despite his initial misgivings about the field of neurosurgery, which he said he “feared”, he said he was enthralled by the room for growth.

“It ticked all the boxes of being incredibly challenging and you could still be a pioneer in neurosurgery because so much was still unknown,” he wrote.

The surgeon compared himself to an “elite athlete” who tried to achieve the same focus and desire in a much higher-stakes environment.

“I think it’s one of the most physically and emotionally taxing specialties in the medical field,” he wrote.

“It’s totally unforgiving. There is zero room for error.”

The brain surgeon made headlines in August last year when he was slapped with restrictive conditions on his medical registration.

Following complaints from his colleagues, the Medical Council of NSW banned Dr Teo from performing high-risk surgeries without the written approval from a second independent neurosurgeon.

Dr Teo said brain cancer was poorly funded.
Camera IconDr Teo said brain cancer was poorly funded. Credit: News Corp Australia

The colleague must have at least 20 years experience and assess whether Dr Teo properly explained the risks and gained financial consent from the patient. The Medical Council also required Dr Teo to file monthly reports detailing his surgeries.

The restrictions will remain in place until at least September 30 this year.

The revealing post comes as The Charlie Teo Foundation, which boasts famous ambassadors like surfer Kelly Slater and Australian Test cricketer Steve Smith, looks to fundraise tax-deductible donations before the end of the financial year.

Originally published as Charlie Teo breaks silence with emotional post about 14yo patient Amelia Lucas

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