Remembering Luke Wood:  1976 – 2011. RIP

Writing this tribute to Luke has been particularly difficult for me. I have delayed putting it on our site out of respect to Luke and his family. On the other hand, Luke was a friend, and shot a training DVD with us back in 2002. As a young man Luke played Rugby with the Canterbury-Bankstown and Balmain Rugby League junior clubs, where he developed his interest in bodybuilding.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Luke was a six-time winner of the Australian Body Building Championships. He was born on February 8th, 1976. This year, 2016 would have marked his 40th birthday.

Luke Wood Photo Gallery

Luke’s Contest History:
1994 Teenage Australia 1st
1995 Junior East Coast of Australia 1st
1995 East Coast of Australia Light Heavyweight, 2nd
1996 Junior Mr. Australia 1st
1998 Mr Australasia Heavyweight, 1st
1999 Pro Card Division 2nd
2000 Pro Card Division 1st
2001 Australian Grand Prix 10th
2001 Australia’s Number 1 Bodybuilder Award
2002 Australian Grand Prix 7th
2003 Australian Grand Prix 6th
2004 Grand Prix Australia Grand Prix 11th
2005 Charlotte Pro, Did not place
2005 Europa Supershow, 15th
2005 New York Pro Championships, 7th
2005 Olympia Wildcard Showdown, 7th
2006 Atlantic City Pro, 11th
2006 New York Pro Championships, 13th
2007 Arnold Classic, 16th
2007 Australian Grand Prix, 9th
2007 Iron Man Pro Invitational, Did not place
2008 Atlantic City Pro, Did not place


An open letter on the Internet, from Luke Wood….written shortly before his kidney transplant.

Hello everyone. Thank you for all the support.
Since December last year I have not been feeling myself. Always tired, always sick with flu like symptoms. Shortness of breath etc. I knew something was not right but then I would go a few weeks and feel fine. I was getting ready for the guest pose in Darwin. I was 120kg and was peeled. Ask Luke Shembri who saw me. I had been getting some form of gout or cellulitis off and on this year in my feet. EXTREMELY painful. I would be in bed with hot and cold shakes for a few days and aching all over and then I would be OK.

In mid-September my right ankle and foot swelled up red raw and then went purple and black. I cannot explain the pain. I could not walk. I was taking high doses of Nurofen and Panadine forte just to function because the pain was that bad. Always my breathing was getting worse. My mate Greg saw me and said its best you go to hospital. Greg took me to the emergency in Liverpool and I found out this. I had 8% renal function left! My BP was 200/120 and my loss of breath was caused by my lungs filling up with so much fluid due to my kidneys failing. The BP was causing a lot of stress on my heart and my foot was badly infected. Dialysis was just days away they told me. My world came tumbling down and you can only imagine how I felt!!

After a few days my infection was clearing, my BP came down and after giving me 200mg of injectable Lasix straight into my vein I certainly lost that fluid on my lungs!! 8kg in 15 hrs to be exact! After 8 days in Hospital they told me I can go home. My kidney function had improved to 14% but yes a kidney transplant is still going to have be done down the track. I had the “Fistula” put on my wrist to start the Dialysis. My sister has put her hand up to donate me one of hers and how do you ever thank someone enough for that. She is being tested now which can takes months of testing.

I’m not sure when I have to start Dialysis as I have stabilized for now. But it will happen they told me down the track. I’m in great spirits. I feel great! Really. I look healthy. I’m down to 112kg but feeling great as I said and just started training again. My diet sucks a little but I’m blessed!!! So blessed!
I did something that few can ever talk about! I had a great ride and part 2 of Luke Wood is just starting. I’m judging now! I feel I’m in the top 3 best contest prep guys in Australia and life is awesome! I will miss the stage always but in a way I will never leave it.

I plan on running my own show and owning my own gym down the road and also writing my own book! Thank you all so much! Don’t feel sorry for me!! I’m still Luke Wood! What I mean by that is the smiling me will always be the same guy!


News Release from the Internet & Paul Bibby:
Bodybuilder Luke Wood died after hospital delays, inquest told.

The death of a champion bodybuilder followed hospital treatment that was marred by delays in receiving a vital scan, and the failure of doctors to access treatment notes, a coronial inquest has heard.
But the inquest also heard that anabolic steroid use was one of the contributing factors in his death.

Luke Wood, 35, a six-time winner of the Australian Body Building Championships, died on August 31, 2011 – 11 days after he underwent kidney transplant surgery.

The NSW Coroner’s Court heard on Monday that the immediate cause of the bodybuilder’s death was cardiac arrest but that this was related to “a massive haemorrhage” in his abdomen following the transplant.

Dead bodybuilder neglected by hospital, fiancée says.
The inquest heard that doctors at Westmead Hospital made a desperate attempt to save Wood’s life with an emergency laparotomy, but were unable to resuscitate him when he went into cardiac arrest.

The inquest heard that, after arriving at the hospital about 3pm, the bodybuilder had to wait for up to four hours before completing a CT scan to determine the cause and extent of his abdominal bleeding.
The Emergency Registrar who initially treated Woods, Sambantham Muralitharan, said that he had requested the scan “urgently” and believed it had happened within an hour of his request about 5pm.

However, the inquest heard that, partly as a consequence of the many patients waiting to use Westmead’s one working CT scanner, the scan was not completed until 6.51pm.

The court also heard that doctors could not access the full medical notes regarding Wood’s kidney transplant and his post-operative treatment. “We have evidence that the relevant renal notes were locked in a room and not accessible. Did you know that?” counsel assisting the commission, Patrick Griffin, asked Dr Muralitharan.

Dr Muralitharan said that the notes had not been necessary because a kidney specialist involved in the transplant operation was present in the emergency department on the day in question. “But how could any registrar on the renal team or on the emergency team not be fully appraised of the minutiae of Luke’s case if they didn’t have his notes?” Deputy NSW Coroner Sharon Freund asked the doctor.

The doctor said that some of this information was available via the hospital’s computer system. Mr Griffin said that the adequacy of the hospital’s treatment of Wood would be the main focus of the inquest. However, he said that there was evidence Wood’s steroid use was also a contributing factor to his death by causing the heart condition cardiomyopathy.

“Luke admitted to the use of steroids to some of his medical practitioners though not to his family or his GP,” Mr Griffin said. “But this inquest is not about the use and abuse of anabolic steroids.” The hearing continues…..

The treatment given to a champion Australian bodybuilder in the hours before he died on the operating table at Westmead Hospital was marred by “missed opportunities”, a NSW coroner has found.

But the coroner concluded that Luke Wood – known as ‘Big Luke’ in the bodybuilding community – was so sick that it was unlikely he would have survived even if doctors had done better. The findings handed down in the NSW Coroner’s Court were immediately rejected by the Wood family, who said that they “totally disagreed” with what Deputy NSW Coroner Sharon Freund had concluded.

Mr Wood, a six-time winner of the Australian Body Building Championships, died on August 31, 2011 – 11 days after he underwent kidney transplant surgery. His family said he was forced to leave hospital too soon after the transplant operation and that in the days after the surgery doctors did not give due attention to the severe bruising on his abdomen, thighs and genital area.

“We heard four days of evidence about treatment and care that was completely inappropriate,” Mr Wood’s brother, Adam, said. “We’re never going to get him back … what we wanted was for no other family to go through this. Unfortunately another family is now going to have to go through this.

“He was kicked out of hospital, bleeding. He couldn’t go to the toilet for a week.
“Luke was made to wait six hours for a CT scan. His records went missing, they showed up here on the third day [of the inquest].”

In handing down her findings into his death on Wednesday, Ms Freund said that Mr Wood had been rushed to Westmead Hospital earlier that day after passing out, vomiting and experiencing severe pain extending from his chest to his legs.

The ultimate cause of death was severe internal bleeding stemming from complications following the transplant surgery.

The court heard during the course of the inquest that Mr Wood’s treatment at Westmead’s emergency department was affected by a delay in doctors receiving a vital CT scan, the failure of doctors to access treatment notes and a lack of co-ordination between the doctors involved.

Drawing on the evidence of emergency medicine expert Professor Gordian Fulde, who reviewed the case, Ms Freund found that “from the very beginning” Mr Wood’s care lacked involvement from the most senior consultant doctors at the hospital, including renal experts.
“Professor Fulde expressed a view … that the sooner a more senior person is involved, the better the patient outcome,” Ms Freund said. He was “unable to identify a clear command structure, or anyone who had primary carriage of Luke’s care and treatment”.

“I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that unfortunately, though adequate, there were some missed opportunities in relation to Luke’s care and treatment,” Ms Freund said. “However, I am also of the view that had these opportunities been seized it is unlikely the ultimate outcome would have changed at the end of the day.”

She also cleared the team which conducted Mr Wood’s ultimately unsuccessful kidney transplant of any wrongdoing, along with those who provided post-operative care. The coroner found that Mr Wood’s steroid use was a risk factor for renal failure but that it did not affect his suitability for the transplant.