The thought of having to undergo brain surgery is scary enough, but imagine having the procedure done while you’re still awake … all while it’s being live streamed on Facebook. Well, that’s exactly what happened in the United States- a Dallas hospital was inundated with social media praise after it live streamed a surgery, showing doctors operating on a young woman’s brain while she was awake and speaking.
Jenna Schardt underwent surgery at Methodist Dallas Medical Center in order to remove a mass of blood vessels in her brain that affected her speech and caused seizures. The 25-year-old graduate student in occupational therapy said she agreed to let the hospital live stream the surgery on its Facebook page in an effort to “educate and inspire” others. In a statement released by the hospital ahead of the surgery, she said, “They are going to show me pictures and I will be describing the pictures while they map out my brain. I will be a very active participant in my own brain surgery!”
Further, doctors said they conducted the surgery while she was awake so they could test her brain to help avoid damaging key neurological functions. Neurosurgeon Randall Graham was quoted saying, “Jenna’s lesion is around some very critical areas in her brain. What’s nice is, nowadays, we can have people awake during the surgery to test on the surface of the brain to make sure we don’t do anything to affect her speech or motor skills”.
The livestreamed portion of the surgery lasted for about 50 minutes, racking up more than 63,000 views, comments and reactions on Facebook in just a few hours. The doctors also walked viewers through the process and answered questions in real-time. Many Facebook users said they were amazed by the doctors’ ability to operate on a patient while awake. Others said it brought them great comfort to see a young woman braving through such an invasive experience in front of the world.
The hospital also shared images of Schardt from the operating room after the surgery, showing her smiling and offering a thumbs-up from her hospital bed.