Symphony flutist keeps on playin' during her brain surgery

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Professional flutist plays through tremor surgery: Rick Williams reports during Action News at 5pm on March 28, 2018. (WPVI)

Anna Whitlock Henry has played the flute for 50 years, playing with symphonies, college performing arts ensembles, and as a flute instructor.

She is currently principal flutist with the Big Spring Symphony Orchestra in Texas.

She wasn't about to stop just because of something like tremors.

In recent years, a hereditary tremor condition Henry has had since middle school became much more serious.

For a recent concert, she had to have her arm in a sling to keep it steady enough.

On Tuesday, she underwent surgery at the Mischer Neuroscience Institute at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, where surgeons implanted an electrode in her brain to calm those tremors.

And Henry played her flute through most of it!

Patients have to be awake during deep brain stimulation surgery, so that surgeons can locate the source of the tremors in the brain and be sure the electrode indeed turns down those tremors.

Henry's surgeons not only had her awake, they asked her to play her flute.

And video shows how her shaking eased.

Anna has been discharged from the hospital, and is now resting at her hotel before going back to Lubbock, Texas this weekend.

She says, "the tremors are greatly reduced."
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