In an attempt to preserve vital areas of her brain, surgeons asked a musician to play her instrument during surgery.
Professional violinist Dagmar Turner, 53, was instructed to play her instrument during her brain surgery at King’s College Hospital in London to ensure that her musical abilities were not damaged during a tumor removal.
Surgeons were operating on Turner’s brain to remove a tumor in her right frontal lobe, which was dangerously close to areas of her brain responsible for coordinating movements in her left hand. These regions are crucial for playing the violin.
“The violin is my passion. I’ve been playing since I was 10 years old,” Turner said in a statement shared in a news release by King’s College Hospital. “The thought of losing my ability to play was heart-breaking.”
Dr. Keyoumars Ashkan, a neurosurgeon, said this was the first time he had a patient play an instrument.
Prior to the procedure, a team of medical experts spent two hours figuring out which areas of Turner’s brain were active when she played the violin.
Local news revealed that doctors managed to successfully remove over 90% of the tumor without damaging Turner’s fine motor skills.
Turner shared that she is hoping to be back with her orchestra, the Wight Symphony Orchestra, soon.