South African jazz artist Musa Manzini strummed his guitar while surgeons removed tumour from his brain, according to a video of the multi-instrumentalist and university lecturer.
The video shows the artist lying on his back in the operating theatre, surrounded by scrubbed-up medical staff, plucking the strings of his guitar. The operation lasted six hours.
His playing the guitar was for a purpose: to allow doctors in the South African city of Durban to observe which areas of the brain he uses to play music, allowing them to preserve those areas and also restore some movement to his fingers, which were affected by the tumour.
“I felt very awkward and uncomfortable,” Manzini told Reuters a week after the operation.
“Being in between general anesthesia and awake and hearing the sounds of a blow torch inside your brain…it’s very difficult to concentrate.”
Doctors opted to keep Manzini awake in order to assess which areas of his brain were functioning as the surgery went on, helping to reduce the risk of neurological damage.
“It was a success in that the biggest risk was paralysis. I’m not paralyzed, and I still have control of my limbs and thus in good spirits and recovering nicely,” he said.
Once fully recovered, Manzini intends to take to the stage again, he said.