Remarkable footage of a woman calmly playing the violin while enduring open brain surgery has gone viral this week.
The woman, who was having a brain tumor removed during the high-risk procedure, is a professional musician and was woken up halfway through her surgery in order to play her instrument.
Keep scrolling for the full story, and to watch the phenomenal footage for yourself.
Brain surgery will always carry with it some rather substantial risks.
via: GettyAllowing a team of surgeons to cut into your skull and operate on the most imperative organ in your body is certainly a major risk, to say the least.
So why do people opt for such hazardous procedures?
via: GettyBrain surgery is carried out as a means to correct any physical ailments on the brain.
There are some things that drugs alone cannot fix...
via: GettyAnd, sometimes, very little choice is left but for a patient to be surgically operated on.
Brain tumors are the reason behind most brain surgeries.
via: GettyMost tumors that grow on the brain can only be removed via surgery, not other methods such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
And, in some instances...
via: GettyA patient is required to be woken up during the procedure.
I know, it isn't even worth thinking about, is it?
via: GettySomeone operating on your brain all while being fully conscious and alert... It's a no from me.
But awake craniotomy's are sometimes essential to a successful surgery.
via: GettyThese are the preferred technique for operations that remove tumors close to functionally important regions of the brain.
While the patient is awake...
via: GettySurgeons are able to test various functions, such as speech and movement, continuously throughout the operation as a means of minimizing the risks of something going wrong.
Once awake, the patient can be asked to perform a variety of tasks that tests memory and motor functions.
via: GettyThis can include reciting information about themselves, reading passages aloud from books, and performing various movements with their arms or legs.
But, on rare occasions...
via: GettySome patients are asked to demonstrate their unique skills as a means of safety checking their brain functions throughout the surgery.
And this is exactly what happened to professional violinist, Dagmar Turner.
via: GettyThe fifty-three-year-old musician, who's also a member of the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2o13.
After years of unsuccessful treatment...
via: GettyThe tumor, which was determined to be a grade 2 glioma, had become more and more aggressive. Doctors then decided, in November 2019, that Ms. Turner needed to be operated on.
In the consultation before the surgery, Ms. Turner's doctors asked whether she was left or right-handed...
via: GettyJust to determine which side would be affected by the surgery.
This was when she told the medical team about her livelihood...
via: GettyAnd her neurosurgeon, Professor Keyoumars Ashkan, who has a degree in music himself, went on to suggest she bring her beloved violin into the operating theatre with her.
The tumor was sat on the right frontal lobe of her brain...
via: GettyWhich is the area that controls the movement in her left hand. Therefore, she was required to be awake during the surgery to prevent anything from going wrong.
And, by playing her violin during the procedure...
via: GettyHer surgeons would be able to ensure that they were not damaging any crucial areas of the brain, especially the ones that control the hand movements specifically needed when playing the instrument.
Ms. Turner's biggest fear was to lose her ability to play the violin.
via: GettySpeaking to the London News Online, Ms. 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 heartbreaking but, being a musician himself, Prof Ashkan understood my concerns."
Professor Ashkan heard Ms. Turner's concerns...
via: HCA HealthcareAnd he made it his mission to make sure she'd be able to continue with her passion.
The team at King's College Hospital set to work to make the unusual addition to the procedure possible...
via: GettyMs. Turner explained: "He and the team at King’s [King's College Hospital] went out of their way to plan the operation – from mapping my brain to planning the position I needed to be in to play."
Miss Turner was woken up halfway through the surgery...
It's a truly remarkable sight.
In the end, the surgeons were able to successfully remove the tumor.
And, only 2 and a half weeks after the surgery...
via: GettyMs. Turner was playing the violin once again.