Kira Iaconetti, a 19-year-old musician and actress from Seattle, was diagnosed with a brain tumor that caused epileptic seizures whenever she listened to or performed music. She needed to undergo brain surgery, but in order to preserve her musical talents, Iaconetti’s doctors decided that she needed to be awake and sing during the operation.
Video footage of Iaconetti’s surgery showed her humming and singing scales throughout her surgery. In addition, she chose to sing “Island in the Sun,” Weezer’s 2001 hit. Her surgeons sang along and tapped their feet as they operated on her brain.
Iaconetti reportedly chose this song partially because it reminded her of Hawaii, where she was born, according to HuffPost. She also related to the line, “I can’t control my brain.”
The video footage from Iaconetti’s surgery quickly went viral. Weezer took to Twitter and posted a still shot from the video, along with some wishes for Iaconetti’s speedy recovery, NME reported.
“[We] would love for you to join us at one of the shows this spring – shoot us a DM and we’ll make it happen,” they added.
There is no word yet on if Iaconetti has responded to Weezer’s invitation.
Iaconetti has been performing since she was a child, and hopes to have a future in music. She feared that her condition would get in the way of her plans.
“It just [felt] like a light switch switches in my brain and suddenly I’m tone deaf. I can’t sing. I can’t process the words in time with the music,” Iaconetti told Inside Edition about her condition.
Dr. Jason Hauptman, a neurosurgeon at Seattle Children’s Hospital, explained that he ordered such a unique surgical routine to ensure that Iaconetti emerged tumor-free and still able to sing. Iaconetti was put under anesthesia to prevent pain, but kept awake during the craniotomy so that she could sing for the surgeons. Her singing would allow the surgeons to see which parts of her brain focus on musical abilities.
“We wanted to preserve the things she cares about, like her passion for pursuing a career in musical theater,” Hauptman told People.
The singer was put back to sleep once the tumor was removed so her surgeons could complete the operation.
Forty-eight hours after her surgery, Iaconetti sat in a hospital bed and sang the same tune with a guitar. She had near perfect pitch, music therapist David Knott shared in a video by Inside Edition.