The King’s College Hospital, London, has shared a video of a violinist, Dagmar Turner, playing her instrument, while being operated upon to remove a brain tumor. 53-year old Turner, was diagnosed with a slow-growing tumor in 2013, and had to play on her violin during the surgical operation, to help the doctors ensure that her hand movements and coordination were not accidentally damaged.
According to a press release by the hospital, a craniotomy operation was done to open her skull, after which Turner was brought out of anesthesia to play the violin while her tumor was removed, under the supervision of the anesthesiologists and a therapist.
Consultant neurosurgeon of the Hospital, Professor Keyoumars Ashkan said while patients have often been asked to perform language tests during tumor removals, this was the first time he had a patient play an instrument.
“We knew how important the violin is to Dagmar so it was vital that we preserved function in the delicate areas of her brain that allowed her to play. We managed to remove over 90 percent of the tumour, including all the areas suspicious of aggressive activity, while retaining full function in her left hand,” Prof. Ashkan said.
Dagmar Turner who was released from the hospital three days after the operation, told Fox5 reporters that she was grateful to the medical team for helping her retain her ability to play, even with the brain operations.
“The violin is my passion; I’ve been playing since I was 10 years old. “The thought of losing my ability to play was heart-breaking. “Thanks to them I’m hoping to be back with my orchestra very soon,” she said.