Warrnambool resident and Melbourne radio presenter, Jon Vertigan is in training for Sydney’s City to Surf fun run, a year after undergoing significant spinal surgery at Epworth Geelong.

Four years ago, Jon had surgery after battling lower back pain.

“The pain began shooting down my left leg, then my right leg and it got to the point that I was in so much pain that I couldn’t stand for long,” Jon said.

“I had surgery to remove a disc and replace it with a cage and that helped.”

Ongoing pain led to further surgery in July 2022, when Epworth Geelong neurosurgeon Nick Hall performed additional spinal surgery, lasting two hours.

The surgery was performed with the assistance of a $2.4M CT theatre scanner purchased in 2022.

In a first for the Geelong region, the intraoperative computed tomography (CT) scanner, combined with navigation technology, guides the surgeon, with access to real time imaging, during complex procedures.

Mr Hall praised the introduction CT scanner at Epworth Geelong.

“This excellent technology allows safer placement of spinal implants and a host of other benefits for patients with spinal and cranial disorders,” Mr Hall said.

“It’s a reflection on how Epworth is prepared to invest in technologies that benefit patients.”

Jon first took up running about 15 years ago and he has completed three marathons, including a 50 kilometre ultramarathon. Due to his back pain, he switched to swimming to maintain his fitness.

“I could swim enough to save myself, but not enough for fitness. I couldn’t do laps so I enrolled in some adults learn-to-swim classes.”

“Swimming saved me as there was no pressure on my joints and it ticked off the benefits to my physical and mental health,” Jon said.

Since his last surgery a year ago, the 49 year-old Magic1278 presenter has now taken up running again. Jon, his 20 year-old daughter Chloe and her boyfriend are now training for the City to Surf run in Sydney on August 13.

Jon hosts afternoons 1pm-4pm on Magic1278 and he is also the Metropolitan Content Director for ACE Radio, looking after Magic1278 and 3MP in Melbourne, 3MP Melbourne, 4BH in Brisbane and 2UE in Sydney.


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