Posted on February 2020 By Aaron Liffen
Dagmar Turner, 53, pictured playing the violin
A patient recovering from surgery and going back to the things they love is a beautiful thing in itself...but seeing a patient carry out their passion mid surgery....now that's truly remarkable!
Patient Dagmar Turner, 53, amazed doctors as she played the violin at doctors at King's College Hospital in London as Doctors attempted to remove a brain tumor she's been battling for over 7 years. In a statement, the hospital said the surgery was done with Turner awake and playing to "ensure areas of the patient’s brain responsible for delicate hand movement and coordination" weren't damaged.
The viral video of the procedure shows Turner playing with her eyes closed, surrounded by the King College Doctors doctors. The procedure, performed by professor Dr Ashkan and the amazing team at the Trust, was observed by anaesthetists and a therapist.
Doctors first began the surgery while she was under anaesthesia, then woke her up and asked her to play while the tumor was removed. The hospital stated the tumor was located "in right frontal lobe of her brain, close to an area that controls the fine movement of her left hand," which Turner uses to play.
According to the hospital, Dr Ashkan is also a dedicated musician who plays the piano. Turner plays the violin in the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra – the tumor in her brain was discovered after she suffered a seizure mid symphony.
“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," Ashkan said in a statement. "We managed to remove over 90 percent of the tumor, including all the areas suspicious of aggressive activity, while retaining full function in her left hand.”
King's College Hospital removes about 400 tumors per year but as you can imagine this was the first time they did so while a patient played an instrument. He added he "often" wakes up patients mid-procedure so they can perform language tests. It looks like Dagmar wanted to go a step further!
In a statement released by the hospital, Turner thanked the doctors for carrying out the procedure and said, "The violin is my passion; I’ve been playing since I was 10 years old."
King's College Hospital said Turner, a former management consultant and a mother to a 13-year-old son, was well enough to return home just three days after the procedure!
You can view the video here courtesy of the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/video/2020/feb/19/woman-plays-violin-undergoing-brain-surgery-london-video
What a story!