She plays Mozart during op

She plays Mozart during op
PHOTO: She plays Mozart during op

She used to be a violinist in Lithuania's national philharmonic orchestra.

But Ms Naomi Elishuv, 60, had to give up her beloved instrument 20 years ago when she was diagnosed with essential tremor.

As the neurological condition impairs movement, it meant the end of Ms Elishuv's musical career, Israel's Jerusalem Post reported.

But on Wednesday, the Israeli returned to playing the violin while being awake during a brain operation to treat her condition.

"It's a shame that I didn't know about this operation before," she said as she manipulated her bow and touched the strings to produce a normal melody.

"Now, I'm going to live again."

A video on YouTube shows her playing Mozart while surgeons at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center carried out the operation.

Said Ms Elishuv before she was being wheeled into the operating theatre: "I love playing the violin. But for many years, I had to make do with only teaching it. The tremor didn't allow me to play professionally."

Only a local anaesthesia was needed for the procedure as the brain itself does not feel pain.


Ms Elishuv was asked to play during the procedure because the doctors needed her "active participation in real-time" to implant the pacemaker into the part of the brain which was damaged.

Professor Itzhak Fried, head of functional neurosurgery at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, told Israeli newspaper Haaretz:

"When we activated the pacemaker in the exact location, we found that the tremor had disappeared and Ms Elishuv continued to play Mozart - with great emotion - but without the tremor or side effects."

This article was first published on Sept 13, 2014.
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