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Woman plays violin while surgeons remove tumour from her brain

Dogmar Turner was worried that she might lose her music skills, so she suggested that she be allowed to play the violin during the operation.

A woman underwent brain surgery while playing the violin to ensure that the surgeons did not damage the part that controlled the fine movement of her hands.

Dagmar Turner, a 53-year-old managing consultant and a passionate violinist from the Isle of Wight, had a tumour removed at King’s College Hospital.

She was worried that she might lose her music skills, so she suggested that she be allowed to play the violin during the operation.

Professor Keyoumars Ashkan, a hospital neurosurgeon consultant, came up with the plan to reduce the risk.

Surgeons mapped her brain, opened the skull, and then gave her to play the violin as the tumour was removed.

Footage shows her how to pick up the instrument during surgery and play scales with her eyes closed.

He said, “This was the first time I have had a patient play an instrument,”  adding that, “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.”

Afterwards, Ms Turner thanked the surgeons for preserving her 40-year love for the instrument.

She 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.”

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