Woman Plays the Flute During Brain Surgery

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It’s probably not the best stage to entertain your audience, but this professional musician played her flute while she was having a brain surgery. If you’re wondering why would someone do this while such an important intervention, here’s the answer.

A Hereditary Condition

Anna Henry, from Lubbock, Texas, has been suffering from tremors since she was a little girl. But now, at 63 years old, Henry’s trembling worsened and she could no longer play the instrument or write. Her fingers were shaking uncontrollably.

She said that ‘I can fight it, but I’m tired of doing it. And it is getting worse. I know it’s a matter of either admitting I can’t do it anymore, or doing this (surgery) so that I can.’

Hoping she could reduce the tremors, Henry tried getting brain surgery: ‘I’m just very grateful there’s this opportunity to do something about it.’

So, this is how she arrived at the Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (Houston, Texas) and gave a great performance while having the surgery.

Deep Brain Stimulation

The surgical intervention is called deep brain stimulation, where surgeons implant small electrodes into the patient’s brain. The electrodes then send constant electric currents to control the shaking.

In order to see if the procedure is effective and working, doctors need to keep the patient awake while they operate.
This is how Anna Henry got to not only stay awake during the procedure, but she was handed the flute and tested her hands. She was happy to see that she could hold the flute again and finish a song while still on the table.

The concert she delivered was followed by a round of applause from the doctors and the nurses and it was also filmed and showed on the news.

Henry said that her parents taught her that people must find their way around obstacles and not just stop in front of them. So she courageously found her way, with the help of the doctors and her will to keep on playing her music.

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Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.


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