On Tuesday, tens of thousands of people tuned into the Methodist Dallas Medical Center's Facebook page to watch 25-year-old Jenna Schardt undergo brain surgery — while conscious.
According to the ABC News segment above, Jenna was mid-conversation one day when she realized she was having trouble speaking. She wasn’t able to type out a text to her friend in order to ask for help, either, so she knew she had to go to the hospital as soon as possible.
Doctors at the medical center planned to operate on Schardt, wanting to remove a mass of tangled blood vessels in her brain that was impairing her speech and causing seizures. Awake brain surgery allows the surgeons to operate on the patient's brain without worrying about damaging the areas that control vision, language and body movements.
With Schardt staying awake and answering the doctor's questions throughout the procedure, the surgeons could ensure they weren't interfering with crucial parts of her brain before they seal her skull back up.
First, Schardt was put under anesthesia so the surgeons could cut into her skull. After reaching her brain, they woke her up and mapped out her brain. If Schardt was able to correctly answer the doctor's questions, the surgeons knew that those parts of her brain were okay to touch. If she made a mistake, they avoided those areas.
It was Schardt's idea to stream the surgery live.
The 25-year-old is studying to be an occupational therapist and helps patients recover from brain injuries of their own. She thought it would be beneficial to people who might have to undergo a similar surgery to watch it on camera.
The stream lasted for 45 minutes before doctors were able to remove the mass — then putting Schardt back under.
"If this can become a learning opportunity for someone else, I mean, I think something good is going to come out of this," she told ABC News.
Watch the full video above.