This brings a new meaning to the term musical theatre…
In a UK first, musician Dagmar Turner plays violin while a surgeon removes a tumour from her brain.
The 53-year-old feared the operation would affect her hand movements.
So neurosurgeon Professor Keyoumars Ashkan – a pianist himself – and his team spent two hours “mapping” her brain to identify which areas were active while she played.
Mum-of-one Dagmar said: “The violin is my passion, I’ve been playing since I was ten. The thought of losing my ability to play was heartbreaking.
“But, being a musician himself, Prof Ashkan understood my concerns. He and the team 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.”
Former management consultant Dagmar, from the Isle of Wight, was diagnosed with a large, slow growing tumour in 2013 after she suffered a seizure while playing a symphony.
She had radiotherapy but tests showed the cancer was still growing.
Dagmar underwent surgery on January 31 at King’s College Hospital in South London. The tumour was in her right frontal lobe, responsible for controlling fine movements in the left hand.
Prof Ashkan said: “We knew how important the violin is to Dagmar so it was vital we preserved function in the areas of her brain that allowed her to play.
“We managed to remove over 90% of the tumour, including all the areas of aggressive activity, while retaining full function in her left hand.”
Dagmar, who is with the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra, played Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, Summertime and Besame Mucho by Julio Iglesias.
She is recovering at home with her husband and 13-year-old son.