The mother of Dr. Charlie Teo's “miracle girl,” Amelia ‘Milli' Lucas, claims that the Sydney neurosurgeon's severe limits have “robbed” the future of Australia's medical community.
Milli became one of Dr. Teo's most renowned patients in 2019 after he excised 98 percent of an inoperable and terminal brain tumour. The remaining 2% was eliminated by German physicians using alternative treatments.
Ms. Smirk told news.com.au that she is “devastated” and “disappointed” for patients and their families who no longer have access to potentially lifesaving treatment, despite Milli's untimely passing on January 4, 2021.
Dr. Teo has been prohibited from practising in Australia since August 2021, despite regular requests from desperate patients. The Medical Council of New South Wales prohibits Dr. Teo from performing high-risk surgeries unless he obtains written consent from a second neurosurgeon with more than 20 years of specialised experience.
These conditions will stay in effect until September 30, at which point they will be reviewed.
“Why? Exactly why? I hope they would leave him alone and let him to do this task. “All he does is help others,” she stated.
“I am aware that neurosurgeons in Australia consider him to be a cowboy who goes the additional mile… However, that decision should be left to the patient.”
Ms. Smirk is sure that patients should have the final say over their treatment, and she is pleased that her daughter got this option.
“A neurosurgeon may say, ‘No, I'm not doing it because in three months it'll be back in and you'll be dead anyway,' but if someone wants to undergo the procedure and live for three months, why aren't they given the option? “Charlie provides you with this option,” she added.
He does not mince words and he does not give people false optimism; instead, he gives them genuine hope.
She stated that the regulations that limited Dr. Teo's capacity to operate also “robbed” the “medical industry” and future research. Since the neurosurgeon is not permitted to operate in Australia, Dr. Teo has continued to teach, lecture, and do free surgery abroad.
I pity the Australians who aspire to become neurosurgeons but are unable to learn from the greatest in the world.
He granted us a couple further years.
Ms. Smirk understands what it is like to be confronted with an incomprehensible choice. When the family reached Dr. Teo in 2019, they were in a condition of “despair,” according to her. In 2016, Milli had chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment after being diagnosed with a severe Grade VI Glioblastoma brain tumour; nevertheless, the disease returned in 2019 in a more dangerous location.
While the majority of national and international surgeons refused to operate on Milli, Dr. Teo was willing to accept the risk. She said that moment “changed” everything.
“Nothing could ever save Milli,” stated Ms. Smirk.
“We all knew it, but he granted us a few extra years – without him, neither she nor we would have had those years.”
In the end, though, the 12-year-old was left to decide whether or not to undergo the dangerous treatment.
“He looked Milli in the eye and said, ‘You may never wake up again, and this is what will occur if things go wrong.' Do you still desire this procedure?'”
“And she responded, ‘yes.' Then Charlie says, “Well, it was a good sign,” and she responds, “Because I trust you.”
Dr. Teo told The Sunday Telegraph that he has struggled with the limitations imposed by Australian medical authorities.
“It's tough not to feel an overwhelming sense of frustration and sorrow when they're crying over the phone and saying, ‘We just want your opinion, my son is dying,'” Dr. Teo said.
With more surgery, at least five patients per week could be cured or their lives could be prolonged, according to cautious estimates.
Monday on 2GB, he referred to the opposition from the medical community as “gang warfare.”
He stated, “Unfortunately, all the neurosurgeons and other doctors have banded together to prevent me from operating at various hospitals.”
“It all began with nameless, faceless, cowardly individuals who went to the media and created all of these charges and fabricated tales about me in an attempt to destroy my reputation,” he added.
“Come out and say it if I'm really as awful a surgeon as they say I am.”
Milli was respectful, courageous, and joyful.
Dr. Teo performed two operations on Milli during her lifetime, including a second operation performed months before her death.
In June 2022, Dr. Teo reflected on his work and Milli's life and felt her legacy was “simple but enlightening.”
“She was an outstanding illustration of how to maximise one's life,” he remarked.
“Milli was respectful, fearless, joyful, thoughtful, and determined. She has a captivating and charming spirit.
“Every time I recall seeing her, she was always smiling. I cherished her greatly.”
Ms. Smirk claims that more than a year after the loss of her daughter, Dr. Teo continues to constantly monitor her family.
She stated, “He is the only person engaged in Milli's care who still calls to check on us.”
“He is a genuine individual with the largest heart.”
The Perth woman is now battling cancer, but her tumours have reacted favourably to immunotherapy.