Playing the violin when your brain isn’t being spliced open on a doctor’s operating table is hard enough, yet this woman being treated at King’s College Hospital in London has just done it while undergoing complex brain surgery.
Featured Image VIA
Dagmar Turner, 53, had been diagnosed with a large tumour after she suffered a seizure during a symphony.
It was located in the right frontal lobe of her brain, next to an area that controls the fine movement of her left hand – essential for her music!
Dagmar was woken half-way through the six-hour surgery, handed the violin and told to play so they could identify and therefore avoid the areas of the brain that are activated while she plays. How amazing is that?
Dagmar told MailOnline:
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 but, being a musician himself, Professor Ashkan understood my concerns.
He and the team at King’s went out of their way to plan the operation – from mapping my brain to planning the position I needed to be in to play.
Thanks to them I’m hoping to be back with my orchestra very soon.
Great stuff. I didn’t even know it was possible to be awake during brain surgery but apparently they do it a lot because it helps surgeons identify ‘functional’ areas of the brain they need to stay away from.
I’m guessing in this case if her violin-playing suddenly started going haywire or she wasn’t able to play then the surgeon would know they’d done something wrong. Incredible… but also terrifying!
For the man who had suffered 10 years of headaches before discovering there was a tapeworm IN HIS BRAIN, click HERE.