Kicker – Fiddling through surgery


NICK EICHER, HOST: The very idea of waking up in the middle of your own surgery sounds like a nightmare. 

But for Dagmar Turner, the waking up was by design. More on that in a minute.

See, she’s a professional violinist with a brain tumor that surgeons said needed to be removed. The audio here from Britain’s ITV News…

TURNER: First thing they asked me was if I’m right- or left-handed, and I said, ‘I’m right-handed,’ and they thought, ‘ah, that’s fine, that’s no problem.’ 

I said, ‘What do you mean?’

‘Well, your tumor is on the right-hand side, so it will not affect your right-hand side. It will affect your left-hand side.’

And I’m just like, ‘oh, hang on guys!’

Yeah, guys, hang on. She needs both sides to continue playing, so she made the suggestion: wake me up during the surgery and I’ll play the violin while you work. Which is what they ended up doing.

MUSIC: [Sound of violin]

First thing was the doctors mapped her brain, found out which areas controlled which actions. Then, as you hear, she played to help the surgeons not to “damage any crucial areas of the brain that controlled [her] delicate hand movements.”

They did manage to remove 90 percent of the tumor, including all the most aggressive parts, leaving her left hand free to continue to make beautiful music.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

It’s The World and Everything in It.


(Photo/NBC News)

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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