Music During Operation – level 3

26-02-2020 07:00

In 2013, a 53-year-old professional musician, Dagmar Turner, was diagnosed with a large brain tumor after she had suffered an attack during a concert.

Turner underwent radiotherapy; however, the tumor continued to grow, and it threatened a brain area that controls her left-hand movements.

Before the surgery, doctors asked Turner if she was left or right-handed. They were relieved when Turner said that she was right-handed. They did not realize that violinists use their left hand more than their right hand. Turner suggested that she could play the violin during the operation.

The operation began under general anesthetic. Later, Turner was woken up and she played the violin while doctors removed the tumor. The music helped them avoid the areas of her brain that were activated while she was playing. The surgery was successful, and Turner is recovering well.

Difficult words: brain tumor (when cells in the brain grow abnormally and they make a mass that can be very dangerous and life-threatening), radiotherapy (using radiation to kill cancer cells and tumors), general anesthetic (medicines that are used to make a person fall sleep and to become unaware of an operation).

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