Dagmar Turner, a former management consultant and long-time member of the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra Society, made headlines on Tuesday as she underwent brain surgery while playing her violin.
Turner was a patient at King’s College Hospital in London where surgeons took this uncommon approach to ensure the patient could continue to play the violin post-procedure.
Turner was diagnosed with a large grade 2 glioma after she suffered a seizure during a symphony in 2013.
Because the brain tumor was located in her right frontal lobe, dangerously close to the area that controls the movement of her left hand, Professor and Consultant Neurosurgeon Keyoumars Ashkan devised the plan to protect her ability to play.
Ashkan successfully managed to remove over 90 percent of the tumor and Turner retains full function of her left hand.
“This was the first time I’ve had a patient play an instrument,” Ashkan said in a statement released by King’s College Hospital. He then explained his unusual decision, stating, “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.”
Turner added, “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.”
Turner is being monitored by the hospital but was able to go home just three days after the operation and is still able to play the violin.
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