BELLARINE MP Lisa Neville will extend her leave from state Parliament as she continues to manage her recovery from the impacts of Crohn’s disease.
The Minister for Water, Police and Emergency Services has lived with the auto-immune disease for 32 years, but the recent worsening of her condition led to her being admitted to hospital in early February.
At the time, she expected to not need surgery and return to work in three months’ time, but said in a statement on Saturday that her condition had worsened and “my doctors have indicated that the only effective treatment now is surgery”.
Ms Neville said the significant operation would require up to 12 weeks of recovery so she would not return to her ministries until the end of June.
“Although it is 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,” Ms Neville 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.”
She thanked her friends and colleagues for their ongoing support.
“I would especially like to thank all those who suffer from Crohn’s or similar illnesses who have reached out,” Ms Neville said.
“This is very much a hidden illness and unless you have experienced it first-hand it is hard to understand the toll it can take, both physically and mentally.
“It is a small consolation that people are now learning more about Crohn’s, it’s triggers and the seriousness that the complications can cause.”