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Teen Sings During Brain Surgery So Doctors Can Preserve Her Musical Ability
19-year-old Kira Iaconetti always dreamed of turning her passion for musical theatre into a career. But when a marble-sized brain tumor was discovered on her right temporal lobe, which controls all her auditory senses, Kira lost her ability to process sound and sing on key. “I know it’s a cruel, sick joke that it would happen right there, on the one thing that I’m actually passionate about,” said Kira. Neurosurgeons at Seattle Children’s Hospital devised a plan to wake Kira during her brain surgery to have her sing, allowing doctors to test in real-time her ability to sing and listen to music. The procedure is known as an “awake craniotomy”. Only 48 hours after her surgery, Kira was back to playing guitar and singing in “near perfect pitch,” according to a musical therapist who worked with doctors to test her musical abilities during the operation.