A marble-sized tumor threatened to rob Kira Iaconetti of one of her greatest passions — music. So the 19-year-old girl did the unimaginable to save her talent. She sang through brain surgery! And her real-life inspirational story is too good to miss!
Kira Iaconetti loves to sing and act. But Kira risked losing her passion when an MRI showed a brain tumor. Doctors diagnosed Kira with a rare form of epilepsy called "musicogenic epilepsy". She suffered seizures triggered by listening to music or singing. Clearly, Kira needed a miracle.
"It was like a light switch turned off in my brain," she said in an interview with Seattle Children's Hospital. "Suddenly, I was tone deaf, I couldn't process the words in time with the music and I couldn't sing."
There was only one option to try and save her talent. Doctors would perform an "awake craniotomy". In other words, Kira would remain awake as the surgeon worked to remove the tumor.
"…the tumor was right inside the area of my brain that controls my hearing and singing ability," Kira said. "Messing with it could permanently affect my voice, and because Dr. Hauptman knew how important it is to me to continue singing and acting, he wanted to be very careful when removing the tumor. He didn't want to interfere with my ability to sing."
To give Kira the best chance at preserving her musical abilities, doctors asked Kira to sing while in surgery. If the doctors noticed a difference in her voice they knew to avoid that specific area.
"Her voice is so beautiful and her willingness to do something new helped make the whole process interactive, collaborative and exciting." shared Dr. Shurtleff.
The surgery appears to have been a miraculous success and Kira was up playing guitar and singing while still in the hospital bed. It appears her episodes have been stopped and she is looking forward to using her God-given talents in the future!
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