By Luke Voogt
Bellarine MP Lisa Neville is set to undergo surgery today after her health worsened during the past month due to a chronic disease.
Ms Neville was admitted to hospital in February due to ongoing complications from Crohn’s disease.
“The medical advice I received at the time was to undertake a period of rest and treatment – designed to give me the best chance of recovery without surgery,” she said in a statement on Saturday.
Ms Neville took leave from her responsibilities as an MP and Police, Emergency Services and Water Minister.
Despite more than two weeks in hospital, an intensive regime of biological drug treatment and three weeks of recovery, recent tests indicated that her condition had worsened.
“As a result, my doctors have indicated that the only effective treatment now is surgery,” Ms Neville said.
“On Tuesday I will be readmitted to hospital to undergo a small bowel resection.”
The operation could require up to 12 weeks’ recovery, meaning Ms Neville will not return to her roles until the end of June.
“Although it’s disappointing and always concerning to have part of your bowel removed, for many who have Crohn’s this can result in a period of remission and enable people to return after recovery to normal life and work,” she said.
“I have every confidence in my medical team and the nursing support at the hospital that this surgery will give me the chance to achieve this.
“I thank all of my friends and colleagues for their ongoing support during this time.
“I would especially like to thank all those who suffer from Crohn’s or similar illnesses who have reached out.
“This is very much a hidden illness and unless you have experienced it firsthand it’s hard to understand the toll it can take, both physically and mentally.
“It’s a small consolation that people are now learning more about Crohn’s, its triggers and the seriousness that the complications can cause.
“As stress is a major driver of the condition, I kindly request privacy over the next three months, as I focus on my recovery and return to work.”