There’s no doubt about the fact that any medical operation is a truly magical feat of talent, engineering, and trust – and it’s amazing to know that these operations happen every single day. While they all deserve their own round of applause, there’s something about this story and the video that goes with it that puts a smile on our faces.
53-year-old Dagmar Turner found herself in hospital in 2013 after suffering a seizure while performing as part of the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra in the UK. The violinist soon learned that the cause of her tumor was a slow-growing tumor on her brain, and her diagnosis was quickly followed up by intense bouts of radiotherapy – but by 2019, the tumor had just got larger and more aggressive. Because of this, Dagmar decided that surgery was her only option, but she was still a little apprehensive about how it would affect her love of music and her career as a professional violinist…
Thankfully, Dagmar was in good hands when she was referred to a neurosurgeon at King’s College Hospital. Not only is Professor Kayoumars Ashkan a highly skilled surgeon, but he also plays the piano and has a degree in music! Dagmar knew that he was the perfect person to operate on her, and they soon worked together to ensure that her musical ability would not be compromised during the operation.
That’s because Dagmar’s tumor was located near to her frontal lobe, a vital area of the brain that controls the left-hand-side of her body. It’s possible during brain surgery that some of these vital areas are damaged during the process – but both the violinist and her surgeon wanted to ensure that this wouldn’t be the case. Pre-surgery, they spent hours together analyzing her brain as she played, to map out which areas were used, and which areas were to be avoided during the procedure.
Alongside this, they decided to wake Dagmar up in the midst of the operation to make sure that she could still play, despite the movement in her brain and the removal of the tumor. Amazingly, the operation was a success, and the whole thing was recorded for the world to see. This is truly one of the most incredible things we’ve ever seen. Congratulations to Dagmar, and well done to Professor Ashkan for his top-class work!