The Beatles‘ iconic ballad “Yesterday” is one of most covered songs in music history – but even Paul McCartney would tip his hat to Anthony Kulkamp Dias, the 33-year-old Brazilian bank worker who strummed out the Help! anthem while undergoing a brain-tumor–removal surgery. “I played six songs at certain times,” Dias told Brazilian news site G1 (via Telegraph). “My right hand was a bit weaker because that was the side that they were operating on. So I stopped and rested. I was interspersing songs and talking with them.”
He drowsily croons and strums out simplified chords to “Yesterday” – which Rolling Stone ranked the 13th greatest song of all-time – in the above clip, resting an acoustic guitar on his stomach as the surgeons perform their complicated task. Dias, a professional musician for two decades, performed an array of material, including a song (“Emanuel”) that he wrote for his newborn son. Not only was the music not a distraction for the surgery team – they even issued requests. “The doctors asked me to repeat one of the country songs, so I even had an encore,” the musician told G1.
Dias underwent innovative surgery that allowed doctors to safely map the awake patient’s brain – a technique that helps prevent injuries during the operation. “By keeping [him] awake during surgery, these areas can be monitored in real time,” said Dr. Jean Abreu Machado, clinical director for Nossa Senhora da Conceição hospital. “It really is a great challenge for the whole surgery team, including the anesthetist.”
The patient was scheduled to be discharged on Wednesday – armed with his health, an incredible viral video and lifetime bragging rights.