Italian Woman Stuffs 90 Olives While She Has Brain Surgery

60-year-old woman managed to stuff 90 olives for a traditional Italian snack during her brain surgery.
Fabienne Lang

It's impressive enough to think that someone can stuff 90 olives in under an hour, but that achievement more than doubles in impressiveness when you find out that that "someone" is a woman undergoing brain surgery. 

A 60-year-old Italian woman recently underwent brain surgery, and at the surgeons' request, she made the traditional Italian snack as she was on the table. This allowed the surgeons to keep a close eye on their work.

It's not the first time someone does something incredible while having their brain operated on, just a few months ago in the U.K. a woman just as impressively played the violin.


What happened

By remaining alert and carrying out an action she knew well, stuffing olives, the woman being operated on allowed the surgeons to calibrate their precise work as they operated on her right temporal lobe. This is the part of the brain that controls language and complex movements on the right-hand side of the body. 

The entire surgery lasted two and a half hours and required 11 different medical staff from the Neurosurgery Department at the Azienda Ospedali Riuniti in Ancona, central Italy. 

Surgeons, a psychologist, and several nurses helped carry out the operation while the 60-year-old patient stuffed her olives in under an hour. This traditional Italian olive snack, or aperitif, is called "olive ascolane."

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Italian Woman Stuffs 90 Olives While She Has Brain Surgery
Olive ascolane, Source: Wine Dharma/Flickr

The head of the Neurosurgery Department at the hospital, Dr. Roberto Trignani, said that the operation went "very well." Trignani had previously carried out approximately 60 brain operations with patients awake and partaking in other activities over the past five years. The olives, though, were a first for him. 

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