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Woman Plays The Violin In Viral Video As Neurosurgeons Remove Tumor From Her Brain

A woman plays the violin as surgeons operate on her brain (King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust/PA)

Surgeons experience a lot of things in the OR, but they never thought they'd experience a concert.

A patient played the violin while having a tumor surgically removed from her brain. And she's quite impressive.


Dagmar Turner played the instrument to help ensure parts of the brain that control delicate hand movement and coordination were not harmed during the operation.

"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," Professor Keyoumars Ashkan, consultant neurosurgeon at King's College Hospital in London, said.

"We managed to remove over 90% of the tumor, including all the areas suspicious of aggressive activity, while retaining full function in her left hand."


Turner plays in the Isle Of Wight Symphony Orchestra. She was first diagnosed with a slow-growing glioma in 2013, having had a seizure while playing.

She had radiotherapy to treat the tumor, but it became more aggressive last year. She then decided to undergo surgery to have it removed.

But the operation was specially planned to ensure her ability to play the violin would not be impaired.

People were understandably impressed.


Prof. Ashkan is also an accomplished pianist, so he made sure he and his team mapped Turner's brain before the operation to precisely identify which parts were active as she played.

"King's is one of the largest brain tumor centers in the UK. We perform around 400 resections (tumor removals) each year, which often involves rousing patients to carry out language tests, but this was the first time I've had a patient play an instrument," Prof. Ashkan 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 but, being a musician himself, Prof. Ashkan understood my concerns," Turner said.

She was released from the hospital three days after the operation and hopes to be back playing with her orchestra soon.