Doctor Sam Long is providing relief for The Greens after its recent candidate controversies, with the renowned veterinary neurologist making his mark with a campaign to contest the seat of Williamstown in the Victorian State Election on November 24.
The Newport resident continues to fly the flag proudly for The Greens in the inner west, in the face of increased interest in Footscray candidate Angus McAlpine and a rather colourful collection of hits he released as a front man in a hip-hop group pre-politics.
He might not hold the magic wand to fix what Victorian Greens Leader Samantha Ratnam referred to as ‘big gaps’ in the party’s candidate vetting processes, but Doctor Long is using his healing hands to save the lives of some seriously sick furry friends.
Speaking to Seven News on Thursday, Doctor Long provided proof of the lengths he is willing to go to when fighting for those who need it most, detailing a recent cross-continent effort to save one of his pug patients who was suffering from articular facet dysplasia.
Jasper the pug had a genetic weakness of the spine which meant that it became unstable, eventually rendering Jasper unable to walk, with Doctor Long determined to improve the quality of life for the pug.
After contacting colleagues in the UK, Doctor Long organised for a titanium plate to be designed and built using 3D printing technology, with the plate printed precisely to match the contours of Jasper’s spine.
— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) November 15, 2018
The final printed plate was then shipped for surgery in Australia, with Doctor Long performing the procedure to plate the pug, which was successful and believed to be the first of its kind in Australia.
“We put screws in through the plate into the bones of the spine itself and that locks the plate to the spine and locks the bones of the spine to each other,” Dr Long said.
A recent trip to Tasmania also had the pug-plating politician pulling out all stops in a four-hour surgery to save a Dogue De Bordeaux name Vogue who was suffering seizures before an MRI revealed the existence of an aggressive brain tumour.
— Olivia Hicks (@OliviaGHicks) August 7, 2018
“The location of the tumour wasn’t too hard to get to, but it was creeping into a couple of slightly worrying places, very deep in a couple of places, so it was a little tricky to get all of it,” Dr Long said.
When he is not flying around the country for life-saving surgeries, Doctor Long contributes to the academic journals and publications that helped him on his journey to becoming a renowned and rare Australian-based specialist in his field.
The veterinary neurologist also appeared at this year’s Melbourne Writers Festival as a guest speaker on a panel that discussed the animal kingdom and what it can teach us about human existence and our own mortality.
It was a fitting festival for the life-saving surgeon, with festival theme of ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ exploring subjects of love, loss, grief, joy, survival, determination and transience – all universal human experiences.
Doctor Long appears well placed to represent The Greens in Williamstown, with a wealth of knowledge and a wealth of experience in belly rubs almost certain to be helpful in pushing party policy priorities in housing, schools, health and energy.