In the rarest of rare cases, a woman patient in a British Hospital played Mahler and Gershwin on the violin while being operated on her brain.
Dagmar Turner, 53, a former management consultant was diagnosed with a tumour in the right frontal lobe of her brain – an area that closely controls our motor functions and movements.
Ashkan, along with his team of specialized surgeons, decided to map Turner’s brain, open her skull and then get her to play as they proceeded to remove the tumour.
Much to their surprise, Turner started playing music by Gustav Mahler, George Gershwin’s jazz classic “Summertime” and pieces by Spanish songwriter and singer Julio Iglesias.
Speaking after the successful surgery, Dr. Ashkan said:
This was the first time I’ve had a patient play an instrument. We managed to remove over 90 percent of the tumour, including all the areas suspicious of aggressive activity, while retaining full function in her left hand.
Turner, who believed she will lose all her abilities after the operation, thanked the group of surgeons and doctors saying she quite doesn’t believe it.
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.
Apart from Turner’s willpower to play throughout the surgery, we must also laud Dr. Ashkan’s unique yet successful plan that ultimately paid off.