Violinist Dagmar Turner played George Gershwin's "Summertime" and other selections during her brain surgery performance.
Furtseff/iStock via Getty Images
When 53-year-old Dagmar Turner told neurosurgeons she was right-handed, they said that was no problem—the brain surgery they were planning to remove a tumor only ran the risk of affecting fine motor skills in her left hand. To Turner, a lifelong violinist and member of the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra, that was still very much a problem.
Turner told ITV News she suggested playing the violin during the procedure so the surgeons at King’s College Hospital in London could ensure they weren’t damaging coordination in either hand. They agreed.
According to NBC News, the violinist played George Gershwin's “Summertime” and selections by Gustav Mahler and Julio Iglesias while surgeons extracted the tumor from the right frontal lobe of her brain. BBC News reports that she’s been living with the growth since 2013, and doctors decided it was time to operate in November 2019.
You can watch her play in the video below. (The top of Turner’s head is completely obscured by plastic and other surgical materials, so there’s nothing graphic in the clip. Having said that, anyone who’s especially squeamish about the inside of an operating room should proceed with caution.)
Professor Keyoumars Ashkan, a neurosurgeon who helped plan the procedure, said in a statement from the hospital that the mid-surgery performance was a first for him.
“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. “We managed to remove over 90 percent of the tumor, including all the areas suspicious of aggressive activity, while retaining full function in her left hand.”
A trio of kids attempt to make the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich in "Kids Vs Science."
Mental Floss via YouTube
When it comes to comfort food, few sandwiches can beat the ooey, gooey deliciousness of an expertly made grilled cheese. But what makes the perfect grilled cheese sandwich? The answer, of course, is rather subjective: While some folks like nothing more than a fresh slice of tomato to add a little acid to their 'wich, others consider any ingredient other than cheese an abomination. To find an answer—or at least some semblance of one—we went to the experts: A cheesemonger, a food scientist, a professional chef, and a super-trio of grilled cheese-loving kids.
Kids Vs. Science is a new show from Mental Floss where we challenge a team of experts to complete a seemingly simple task—and compete against a group of kids to see who emerges victorious. Who will make the ultimate grilled cheese? Watch the full episode below to find out.
For more episodes like this one, be sure to subscribe here!