Seattle teenager and self-taught musician Kira Laconetti sang her 19-year-old heart out as doctors performed brain surgery on her.
“Her tumor was discovered because of a very unusual type of epilepsy she had called musicogenic epilepsy,” said Dr. Jason Hauptman, a neurosurgeon in Seattle Children’s Neurosciences Center. “These seizures are triggered by listening to music or singing, which is an unfortunate problem for Kira since she is a performer who likes to sing.”
Kira's tumor was pressing up against her auditory cortex, posing significant risk to her capacity to sing.
“In a sort of twisted joke from the universe the tumor was right inside the area of my brain that controls my hearing and singing ability,” Laconetti said. “Messing with it could permanently affect my voice, and because Dr. Hauptman knew how important it is to me to continue singing and acting, he wanted to be very careful when removing the tumor. He didn’t want to interfere with my ability to sing.”
During her procedure, doctors had Kira sing Weezer's 2001 hit "Island In The Sun" to trigger responses, and to avoid doing damage to her singing skills. She chose the song because of the lyrics, "On an island in the sun, we'll be playing and having fun, and it makes me feel so fine I can't control my brain."
Weezer saw the headline circling the internet and responded by inviting her to one of their upcoming shows.
Kira's surgery was a success, and she was back up singing and playing guitar 48 hours later. Everyone is elated for her recovery, including Weezer.
"Kira’s story was amazing and we’re so glad she’s recovering nicely following her surgery," the band told us. "It’s awesome and humbling that one of our songs got her through a tremendously difficult experience.”