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  • The 47 year-old jazz guitarist and educator has lived with a recurring brain tumor since it was discovered in 2006.

    The 47 year-old jazz guitarist and educator has lived with a recurring brain tumor since it was discovered in 2006. | Photo: Facebook / musa.manzini

Published 21 December 2018

The multi-instrumental musician and university lecture in South Africa underwent a six-hour surgery to remove a recurring brain tumor while awake.

South African jazz musician, Musa Manzini, was kept awake during a six-hour operation on a brain tumor, during which he plucked the strings of his guitar. A week later, he is now expected to make a successful recovery.

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Doctors kept Manzini awake partly so that those operating could preserve and restore his finger movements, bearing his career as a musician in mind.

Dr. Rohen Harrichandparsad and Dr. Enicker were two neurosurgeons who led a team of specialists in the operation at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital in the coastal city of Durban, South Africa.

"Eloquent brain is a part of the brain tissue that performs an important function and if removed, results in paralysis or sensory or speech problems," Dr. Harrichandparsad told The Mercury newspaper.

According to Dr. Enicker, an "awake" operation was preferable to using general anaesthetic in Manzini’s case, IOL news reported.

"In this way, we can test regions of the brain before [the tumour is] removed. This allows for increased removal of the tumour, while minimizing damage to the brain," he said.

In a video of the procedure, the renowned musician and lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal is seen lightly plucking the strings of a guitar as he laid on the operating table while doctors worked.

"They put me to sleep and then drilled my skull open. Once my brain was exposed, I woke up and played my guitar," Manzini told News24. "There was a big risk of the left part of my body being paralysed."

Manzini is expected to spend the holidays at home with his loved ones. The brain tumor, according to Manzini, is linked to a neurological condition that has been ongoing since 2006.

"I am looking forward to getting back into the studio and recording another album. I have a lot of material that I have written and that I still need to record," he said.

"The most important thing is to look forward to life and to appreciate life."

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