Featured Stories

Woman plays violin while surgeons remove a tumor from her brain

A patient at King’s College Hospital in London played the violin while surgeons removed a tumor from her brain.

53-year-old Dagmar Turner is a professional violinist  who plays in Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra, and various choral societies. Turner wanted to ensure that the part of her brain that controls delicate hand movement and coordination were not damaged during her brain surgery.

In 2013, Turner was diagnosed with a large, slow growing glioma after suffering a seizure during a symphony, according to the hospital.

Turner and her doctors discussed a plan before performing the surgery to carefully map her brain to identify areas that were active when she played the violin and those responsible for controlling language and movement. They also decided that they would wake Turner mid- procedure so she could play, ensuring the surgeons didn’t damage any crucial areas of the brain.

“The violin is my passion; I’ve been playing since I was 10 years old. The thought of losing my ability to play was heart-breaking but, being a musician himself, Prof Ashkan understood my concerns,” said Turner. “He and the team at King’s went out of their way to plan the operation – from mapping my brain to planning the position I needed to be in to play. Thanks to them I’m hoping to be back with my orchestra very soon.”

Turner is now back home with her family and is doing well according to the hospital.