Laura Agnello will never forget the moment when doctors gave her father a death sentence.
Her father Sam's brain tumor had returned after four years and he only had months to live.
& # 39; We can't do anything anymore & # 39 ;, they said. Surgeons in Sam & Perth's hometown of Perth, Western Australia, refused to operate. The operation would kill him, they said.
But 12 years later, Sam Agnello is still alive. He saw his two sons get married, met his grandchildren and turned 67 in August.
The reason for this is brain surgeon Dr. Charlie Teo, Laura said – while she has recent attacks on the controversial doctor and his hefty bills like & # 39; disgusting & # 39; shoot.
Charlie & # 39; s angels: Cancer survivor Sam Agnello, with his daughter Laura, defended Dr. Charlie Teo
Dr. Teo (left and right) came under fire because of his hefty bills – but Dr. Teo says that most of the money goes to the costs of private hospitals and he recently received only $ 8,000 from a $ 120,000 operation
Dr. Teo came under fire after a prominent Sydney urological expert, Professor Henry Woo, criticized the system whereby patients now have to raise funds online to pay for their operations.
Dr. Woo counted 113 GoFundMe pages this week dedicated to sourcing funds for Dr. Woo. Teo to work under different conditions – and then fired at a series of tweets.
Abused by Twitter trolls: Teo critic Dr. Henry Woo
There is something serious going on when a terminally ill girl with a brain tumor has to raise $ 120,000 for an operation that Dr. Charlie Teo has offered for $ 60-80K, & # 39; he wrote.
& # 39; If it was a valid operation, it could / should be performed in the public system under Medicare. & # 39;
Dr. Teo, 61, has shot back – he says he only takes home $ 8,000 for a treatment that costs $ 120,000. He would work for free if he could, he claimed.
The public fight has become ugly, with Dr Woo – a respected prostate cancer professional – tackling an attack of abuse and being driven out of social media.
The & # 39; price of hope & # 39;
A number of doctors, speaking on condition of anonymity, say that part of Dr. Woo & # 39; s criticism of Dr. practices Teo is valid.
But Laura is by no means alone with patients who are Dr. Have supported Teo in public and told Daily Mail Australia: & # 39; You can't count on it (hope). & # 39;
Her father's surgery in 2007 cost the family about $ 50,000, of which two-thirds was covered by private health insurance.
Dr. Charlie Teo with Amelia & # 39; Milli & # 39; Lucas, which he will operate next week
They remained on the hook for around $ 10,000 to $ 15,000, with family members kindly stepping in to help the family.
Today the family is one 12-year-old girl whose $ 150,000 fundraising by GoFundMe led to Dr. Woo & # 39; s tweets also spoke in defense of Dr. Teo.
Monica Smirk, the mother of the sick Milli Lucas, said: & Dr. 39 is a genius, and he is beaten hard every day for his work. He does NOT deserve this & # 39 ;.
(Part of the money for the girl – with a recurring brain tumor – will go to her treatment in Mexico.)
A West Australian wine critic also took over the pages of the state newspaper today and said that the Dr. operation. Teo his son 12 & # 39; precious years & # 39; gave.
His three operations cost $ 75,000. & # 39; People go to Charlie when they no longer have options & # 39 ;, Ray Jordan wrote. & # 39; Charlie saved my son & # 39 ;.
& # 39; I'm sure some people have never paid for saving Charlie and that he has never followed them. & # 39;
Millie Lucas with her parents Monica and Grant. She is expected to take action next week with Dr. Teo
& # 39; I can take out your father's tumor & # 39;
Laura was distraught when the doctors gave her the devastating news that she could not help her father.
And while Laura was hopeful after watching a 60-minute section about Dr. Teo, she couldn't let doctors cancel it.
& # 39; No one will refer you to him & # 39 ;, she sparkled. She then called his Sydney office directly.
After watching Sam's scans, Dr. Teo called her while she ate with friends. & # 39; Do you know your father's tumor? I can get it out, & he said.
Her father flew to Sydney – despite a lifelong fear of planes – and Dr. Teo worked for six hours.
After the operation, Dr. Teo told Sam that he would have another two years. Twelve years later he still goes – with the care of his wife.
Sam Angello with his wife Maria. Dr. Teo thought he would give him another two years, but he has lived 12 years since his tumor returned
Sam Agnello at home with his family – wife Maria on the right and daughter Laura on the floor
The chemotherapy and radiation treatment of years of cancer treatment paralyzed her father on his right and his speech was reduced.
& # 39; He's all there, he still has a quality of life, his speech is just a bit slow, & # 39; Laura said.
The cancer still lives in a dormant form, but Laura's father said he has finished medical treatment – and has chosen not to go for scans for five years.
What upset Laura about this week's debate is the thought of what will happen to people like her father in the future, when Charlie Teo is gone.
& # 39; What happens if he stops performing operations due to old age or wants to retire? & # 39; she asked.
& # 39; What happens to all the people he operates that no one else will do? & # 39;
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