Watch Woman Play Violin While Undergoing Brain Surgery [Video]

Doctors instructed the 53-year-old to play the instrument to protect her musical abilities during a tumor removal.

A 53-year-old British woman played some Gershwin on the violin during her brain surgery to ensure she would not lose any of her musical skills.

Dagmar Turner was instructed to use the instrument by doctors at King’s College Hospital in London while they operated to remove a tumor from the right frontal lobe of her brain, which is responsible for coordinating the delicate movements in her left hand.

“The violin is my passion. I’ve been playing since I was 10 years old,” Turner said in a news release posted on Wednesday. “The thought of losing my ability to play was heart-breaking.”

To prevent damage, Dr. Keyoumars Ashkan, a neurosurgeon, came up with the solution to map Turner’s brain to identify what areas were active when she performed on the violin. Then they would open her skull, wake her up mid-procedure and have her play while they removed the tumor, according to the release,

“We perform around 400 resections (tumour 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,” said Ashkan in the news release.

“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,” he added. “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.”

Ashkan holds a degree in music and is an accomplished pianist which Dagmar said helped her with her concerns.

During the surgery, Turner performed music by Gustav Mahler, George Gershwin’s jazz classic “Summertime” and pieces by Spanish songwriter and singer Julio Iglesias, according to NBC News.

The former management consultant was back at home with her husband and son only three days after the procedure.

“I’m hoping to be back with my orchestra very soon,” Turner — who plays with the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra — said after the surgery.

[via TooFab]

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