(A team of neurosurgeons and others at the Ospedali Riuniti Ancona, a hospital in Italy's Marche region, remove a tumor from a woman's brain while she prepares dozens of "Ascoli-style" stuffed olives, a specialty from the region. OSPEDALI RIUNITI/HANDOUT)
An Italian woman was awake and pitting olives while surgeons operated on her brain. She was having a tumor removed from her left temporal lobe, the part of the brain that controls speech as well as movement on the left side of the body.
The reason she was awake was because the surgeons needed to ensure she did not lose her ability for rapid hand movement so she selected an activity that is important to her to do.
This method is not new for this surgeon - once, he needed to make sure the patient did not lose their vision so he made them watch cartoons during surgery. People have also played the violin, the trombone and sung during surgery.
By the way, she not only pitted the olives, she stuffed them with meat and cheese and then carefully rolled them over bread crumbs. She made 90 during surgery, do you think the doctors and nurses ate them afterward?