Even when receiving treatment at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital,
it seems Kerry Packer could be both amazingly generous and outrageously
abusive, if some of the anecdotes arriving at the Crikey bunker are any
guide.

Firstly, an RPA staff member who tended Packer writes:

I can tell you that he did not
enjoy the circus that sometimes accompanied his stays and that he was very
generous but in a discreet way. Over the time that he was one of my
patients we got talking and he, without being asked, made a generous donation
to an organisation associated with one of my children. I only knew because
just before discharge he told me that it would all be okay as he had sorted
it. I can’t tell you what a difference that it made. I am sure that no one
knows that he made the donation which has positively affected so many
children’s lives.

Then we have this from another Sydney health expert:

Don’t worry, you weren’t all that wrong with the Sisters of Mercy
and Charity. The Sisters of Mercy (St Vincents) had to bail out the Sisters
of Mercy (The Mater Hospital at Crows Nest) a few years ago and they are
both now run as “St Vincents and Mater Health”.

Whilst Mr Packer may have complained about how much it “cost him” at St
Vincents, I think it was tongue in cheek. Ros Packer has continued
to be involved in fundraising for St Vincents and has had operations there
herself in the past years.

St Vincents is world renowned for its kidney cancer and laproscopic kidney
surgery and is recognised as the leading place for this in the country. It does not do a lot of kidney
transplants, leaving that to the specialist transplant team at RPA which is
easily one of the best in country in that area.

And finally this arrived from someone at St Vincent’s:

Once, while in St
Vincent’s on one of his many stays – KP was becoming increasingly irritated by a
phone at a nearby nurses’ station, which was literally ringing off the hook.
Unable to tolerate it any longer, ‘The Big Man’ dragged himself from his
bed, shuffled down the corridor and gruffly answered it. Just as he did
so, a Sister appeared – KP barked at the caller to hold and handed over the
receiver. Before she took the call however, the Sister politely but firmly
said: “Mr Packer you really must not answer the phones”.

Astounded by this
ingratitude – KP fixed her momentarily with his legendary glare and shouted: “If
I can run the f**cking country I can answer the bloody phone” – then stormed
back to his room.

Keep the quality Packer tales coming to [email protected]

Peter Fray

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