Cancer Patient Plays Guitar In The Middle Of Surgery
via Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center / Youtube
In an extraordinary medical scenario, cancer patient Christian Nolen transformed an operating room into an unexpected music venue by playing his guitar during brain surgery. The patient, diagnosed with a tumor in the right side of his frontal lobe, impacting his motor skills, faced a unique challenge. Dr. Ricardo Komotar, leading the brain tumor program at the University of Miami, explained that the surgery aimed to address the tumor while ensuring Nolen’s brain functionality, particularly in his left hand, which had difficulty playing the guitar.
Scheduled 10 days after discovering the cancerous growth, involved Nolen playing songs by Deftones and System Of A Down. Dr. Komotar shared the motivation behind this approach, stating that it allowed the medical team to assess Nolen’s condition in real-time.
Surprisingly, Nolen had to remain awake during the surgery, a revelation that caught him off guard:
“I’d only really heard of procedures of that nature being done in shows and movies. I felt like it was such a unique experience that I couldn’t pass up – especially with my motor skills being on the line. The risk of being sedated for the entire procedure outweighed any fear or anxieties around the procedure itself.”
Despite the risks
The surgery faced a critical moment when Nolen’s hand function started declining towards the end. Dr. Komotar explained:
“As we were finishing the case at the very back of the tumor, we noticed that his hand function started to decline. The tumor was touching and interfacing with the part of the brain that controls hand movement. Fortunately, we were able to remove the entire tumor and not injure his hand.”
A video capturing Christian Nolen’s impromptu concert in the operating room is available below, showcasing the unique blend of medical precision and musical expression.