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Dr. Donlin Long, Wide-Ranging Medical Innovator, Is Dead at 89

Donlin M. Long, a pioneering neurosurgeon whose mind analysis helped hundreds of thousands of sufferers handle ache and who collaborated on the invention of an implantable pump to ship insulin to folks with diabetes, died on Sept. 19 close to Gettysburg, Pa. He was 89.

The trigger was issues of a fall he suffered whereas fly-fishing for trout in a stream close to his weekend house, his daughter Dr. Kimberly Page Riley stated. Dr. Long was a resident of North Baltimore and chairman of the neurosurgery division at Johns Hopkins University for 17 years.

In addition to the insulin pump, Dr. Long, as an skilled in relieving continual ache, had a collaborative hand in introducing, in 1981, the primary battery-powered, rechargeable, implantable digital gadget to stimulate peripheral nerves to alleviate ache, according to Johns Hopkins. The gadget, generally known as TENS, for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator, grew to become a regular medical software.

As an achieved practitioner of cranium base surgical procedure, Dr. Long was additionally instrumental within the first profitable separation of dual infants born conjoined at the pinnacle. The operation, carried out in 1987, concerned 70 surgeons, nurses and assistants and lasted 22 hours.

The twins’ brains have been separated, and one of many infants’ skulls was closed by Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, whom Dr. Long, the founding chairman of the division of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, had recruited to the college. The operation, at Johns Hopkins Hospital, introduced Dr. Carson prompt fame. He was later a Republican presidential candidate and secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development beneath President Donald J. Trump.

Dr. Long, Dr. Carson’s mentor, closed the opposite boy’s cranium through the operation.

Drs. Long and Carson had only one hour to perform last separation, to reconstruct the divided mind cavities and veins, and to restart the hearts within the infants, each of them boys.

Dr. Patrick J. Connolly, the chief of neurosurgery at Virtua Mount Holly Hospital in New Jersey and a professor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, hailed Dr. Long’s contributions to neurosurgery in addition to to 2 different specialties, the therapy of vascular and spinal ailments.

“We use steroids to treat brain edema every day in neurosurgery thanks to Dr. Long’s research in the early ’70s,” he stated, “and his contribution to spinal cord stimulation has permitted relief of suffering for millions of people over the last 50 or so years.”

When Dr. Long arrived at Johns Hopkins in 1973, the neurosurgery division had solely 5 full time surgeons, performing some 125 surgical procedures a 12 months. By the time he retired in 2000, the full-time workers had greater than doubled and the variety of operations had soared to greater than 3,500 yearly, carried out at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

He was instrumental in Johns Hopkins’ resolution to erect the Adolf Meyer Center in 1981, uniting the departments of neurosurgery, neurology and psychiatry in a single building and facilitating collaboration amongst them.

Dr. Long’s analysis into continual ache ready him to assist design the transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator at Johns Hopkins. Later within the 1980s, he collaborated with colleagues at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory to invent the implantable medicine pump to deal with diabetic sufferers.

Many of the surgeons educated throughout Dr. Long’s tenure at Johns Hopkins have been employed as full professors, as leaders of neurosurgery departments at hospitals and universities, and as heads {of professional} associations.

“Neurosurgeons everywhere stand on his shoulders,” Dr. Connolly stated.

Donlin Martin Long Jr. was born on April 14, 1934, in Rolla, Mo., within the southwest Ozarks. He was a descendant of New England Quakers, one in every of whom, in accordance with a Johns Hopkins biography, had blazed a path via the Cumberland Gap within the Appalachians alongside Daniel Boone. His father, Donlin Sr., was a chemist for the state health division. His mom, Davine (Johnson) Long, was a instructor.

Raised in Jefferson City, Mo., Dr. Long earned undergraduate and medical levels, in 1955 and 1959, from the University of Missouri. He obtained a doctorate in neuroanatomy in 1964 from the University of Minnesota, the place he had deliberate to change into a cardiac surgeon earlier than altering course and specializing in neurosurgery, impressed by the work of Dr. Lyle A. French in that discipline.

As residents at Minnesota, he and Joseph Galicich performed analysis that led to using steroids to cut back postoperative mind swelling.

Dr. Long informed The New York Times in 1987 that “chronic pain is the weakest area of modern medicine and the least well managed of any complaint or disease.”

He is survived by his spouse, Harriett (Kallenbach) Long; one other daughter, Elisabeth Merchant Long; a son, David; and 4 grandchildren. His three youngsters have all taught or labored as directors at Johns Hopkins.

Remembered for his equanimity, his position as a mentor and his can-do ardour, Dr. Long usually informed his youngsters and grandchildren, “There is no try, only did and did not.”

Bernard Mokam contributed reporting.


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