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Aussie Olympic Great Kevin Berry Recovering from Brain Surgery -- June 27, 2003

By Phillip Whitten

SYDNEY, June 26. AUSTRALIAN Olympic great Kevin Berry, who swam under Doc Counsilman at Indiana University, is recovering at St. Vincent's Hospital in Sydney after undergoing successful brain surgery on Monday, June 23.

He is expected to be released from the hospital this weekend to recuperate at home.

Berry won Olympic gold in Tokyo in 1964, setting a world record of 2:06.6 for the 200 meter fly. He is a familiar figure in Australian and US swimming circles, often visiting the United States. He has also authored articles on Olympic swimming history as well as a book for visitors to Australia.

On June 17, Berry commented: "After returning from a magnificent trip to the States, I was feeling quite tired and very lethargic. I had several trips to my GP and we thought it may have something to do with my
bllod pressure medication.

"About twelve days ago, Libby (Berry's wife) got quite
concerned and after speaking with my GP it was decided that I should be admitted into St. Vincents Private Hospital, here in Sydney. This was done last Monday. I had a series of tests and then on the Wednesday they
gave me an MRI on my head. It was then they found a growth in my head and then ordered another MRI and a Catscan.

"It was then that I discovered I have this growth underneath my brain. You can clearly see it on the MRI. A neurosurgeon was called in and I had a brief discussion with him on Saturday before being released
yesterday.

"This morning I had an appointment with him and we
talked through just what needs to be done. I am going back into St. Vincents on Sunday and I will be operated on on Monday afternoon. He seems fairly confident he can take it out without causing any harm and I must say, I have total faith in him.

"It would appear I will need about six to seven days recovery in St. Vincents and then, watch out. I am
hoping I will be 100% upon my return."

After the successful operation, Kevin's wife Libby commented yesterday: "Kevin...has returned to the general ward.The high blood pressure remains and he still requires oxygen every now and again, but his legion of medical carers are happy with the way things are going. He is able to have phone calls and visitors, but they are all directed through the sisters' desk just to make sure he doesn't overdo things.

"He keeps telling me he has people to see, places to go and things to do. Keeping him quiet when he gets
home is going to be my greatest challenge.

"Kevin was seen by his surgeon this morning and he assured him he believes it is a dermoid cyst, benign and now removed apart from a section of the [brain]casing. We are waiting for the pathology report but feel confident all will be good news."

To all Kevin's friends around the globe, Libby said: "Thank you for all the messages, prayers and
kind thoughts. They are very much appreciated during this difficult time."