DAA Daily

Hospital patient plays the violin during ongoing brain surgery

Aline Tarasconi Pawzfeed / Pawscast Editor, The Pawprint

The operating room in The King’s College Hospital in London was filled by the sound of a violin as doctors performed surgery on Dagmar Turner’s brain. 

The hospital surgeons had woken her up in the middle of the operation to ensure that parts of the brain needed to play the violin were not affected, such as sections that control precise hand movements and coordination. 

“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,” said Keyoumars Ashkan, a neurosurgeon at King’s College Hospital.

Turner found out she had a tumor that grew slowly in 2013. Doctors late last year noticed it had become more disruptive and the violinist chose to have surgery to remove it. 

In the hospital press release, Turner said “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, Prof. Ashkan understood my concerns.”

To her relief the surgery was a success, Ashkan said: “We managed to remove over 90 percent of the tumour, including all areas suspicious of aggressive activity, while retaining full function of her left hand.”

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