Musician Dagmar Turner Played Violin During Her Own Brain Surgery

Dagmar Turner has been playing violin since she was 10 years old. She was diagnosed with brain tumour, on her right frontal lobe, which was so dangerously close to the areas of her brain that are responsible for coordinating the delicate movements of her left hand – to a violinist, that alone is all she has to show for her 43 years of passion for playing violin.
“The violin is my passion. I’ve been playing since I was 10 years old,” Turner said in a February 18 news release. “The thought of losing my ability to play was heart-breaking.”
During surgery, her doctors asked the 53-year-old to play her instrument to ensure that the professional violinist’s musical abilities were not damaged during a tumor removal. Dr. Keyoumars Ashkan, a neurosurgeon, came up with this creative solution. “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,” he said in the news release. Now does this sound way too familiar or have we really seen something like this happen in the tv show “Grey’s Anatomy” before, haha!
Before the procedure, a team of medical experts spent two hours mapping Turner’s brain to figure out which areas were active when she played the violin. The good news is that the doctors have managed to successfully remove over 90% of the tumor without damaging Turner’s fine motor skills. With the out of the box thinking of her doctors, she has managed to go home, safe and sound, with only a small bit of tumour still left in her brain. She has a husband and a son to look after her and give her the love and support she needs before she can be back with her orchestra (Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra).  “I’m hoping to be back with my orchestra very soon,” Turner said after the surgery. She plays with the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra.
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