A 53-year-old woman with a brain tumour played the violin while surgeons performed an open brain surgery on her.
According to CNN, Dagmar Turner is a professional violinist who had a tumour in her right frontal lobe. The tumour was located at an area of her brain that is responsible for the coordination of delicate movements in her left hand.
These areas of the brain are crucial for playing the violin, and in some spots, the distance from the tumour was as narrow as a credit card.
“The violin is my passion. I’ve been playing since I was 10 years old,” she said.
“The thought of losing my ability to play was heart-breaking.”
So, neurosurgeon Dr. Keyoumars Ashkan at King’s College Hospital in London came up with a creative solution and suggested that Dagmar play the violin during her surgery to ensure that her musical abilities were not damaged.
“We perform around 400 resections (tumor removals) each year, which often involves rousing patients to carry out language tests, but this was the first time I’ve had a patient play an instrument,” he said.
Before the surgery, two hours were spent mapping out Dagmar’s brain to figure out which areas were active when she played the violin.
And when the surgery was being performed, Dagmar played the violin while doctors removed the tumour from her brain. They successfully removed more than 90% of the tumour without damaging her fine motor skills.
Dagmar was able to return home to her husband and son three days after the procedure.
“I’m hoping to be back with my orchestra very soon,” Turner said after the surgery.
She plays with the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra.
Wow! That’s awesome! Who knew playing the violin during surgery could prevent Dagmar’s musical abilities from being damaged?
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