Samuel Robinson

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Otolaryngologist Head and Neck surgeon
5 October 1967-16 October 2010

The Australian Ear Neck and Throat (ENT) community was deeply saddened by the passing of Dr Samuel Hugh Robinson on 16 October 2010, following a long battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his family and friends, and he passed away peacefully at the age of 43.

Sam was raised on a farm in the South East of South Australia before completing his education at St Peters College, Adelaide. He went on to attend Adelaide University Medical School where he developed his passion for surgery.

His interest in the surgical management of snoring and sleep apnoea began early in his training in ENT, with a strong belief that people with sleep apnoea deserved options for the treatment of their condition other than continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which many did not tolerate. He travelled to Stanford University to further develop this interest when this surgery was just beginning to achieve recognition in the United States.

It was in the middle of his advanced training years that he was diagnosed with myeloma, the condition that would ultimately claim his life. When considering his options at that point he no doubt considered the added burden of being a pioneer in any field of surgery and the scrutiny that is focused on anyone who introduces a procedure. It did not deter him and in the following years he pushed the boundaries of modern sleep surgery to become a world recognised leader in this field.

Sam was also passionate about the good things in life and, like most South Australians, had a love of good food and wine. He also loved his football and his team, the Adelaide Crows. So much so, that his funeral, which overflowed with friends and loved ones, was held at the Crows Shed. It was a testament to Sam and his selfless nature that many who attended the funeral had not even known that he was unwell, including those who worked beside him on a daily basis.

At his funeral it was joked that it was hard to know if Sam was more passionate about his work, the Crows or his family, but no one really doubts that his wife, Jane, and children, Matthew and Joanna, were the centre of his universe. He loved them very deeply.

Sam's life was far too short, yet he achieved so much in the time he had. He was a wonderful man, a good friend and colleague, a patient and committed teacher, a loving and much loved husband, father, son and brother. He will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Dr Sonia Latzel FRACS


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