By Samantha Day •
Published: 26 Feb 2020 • 22:35
Dogmar Turner was worried she may lose her music skills so she suggested she be allowed to play the violin during the operation.
A woman has undergone brain surgery while playing the violin to ensure surgeons did not damage the part which controls the fine movement of her hands.
Dagmar Turner, a 53-year-old management consultant and passionate violinist from the Isle of Wight, had a tumour removed at King’s College Hospital.
She was worried she may lose her music skills so she suggested she be allowed to play the violin during the operation.
Professor Keyoumars Ashkan, a consultant neurosurgeon at the hospital, came up with the plan to reduce the risk.
Surgeons mapped her brain, opened the skull and then got her to play the violin as the tumour was removed.
Footage shows her picking up the instrument during the surgery and playing scales with her eyes shut.
This was the first time I’ve had a patient play an instrument,” he said.
“We managed to remove over 90% of the tumour, including all the areas suspicious of aggressive activity, while retaining full function in her left hand.”
Ms Turner thanked the surgeons afterwards for preserving her 40-year love for the instrument.
“The violin is my passion,” she said.
“I’ve been playing since I was 10 years old.
“The thought of losing my ability to play was heartbreaking.”
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