New Jersey woman sings Taylor Swift hits while awake during brain surgery: ‘Eras Tour’ in the O.R.

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A Stanhope, New Jersey, mom has taken her love of Taylor Swift to a new level. 

Selena Campione, 36, underwent brain surgery on Jan. 31, 2024 – but it wasn’t an ordinary procedure.

In an interview with Fox News Digital, Campione shared that she’d been to numerous doctors to address some peculiar symptoms that began in March 2023.

This included tingling and numbness on the right side of her body, which developed into an inability to hold objects in her right hand.

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“I couldn’t use my right arm, the right side of my face would swell up, and I would have trouble talking,” she said. 

“I would be stuck, almost.”

Selena Campione, at right, along with a fellow teacher, are shown wearing their Taylor Swift-inspired T-shirts. (Hackensack Meridian Health)

Campione, a private school teacher, described how her symptoms kept “growing and growing,” leading to problems walking.

“My right leg – I wouldn’t even feel it,” she said. “I wouldn’t have feeling in my foot. Part of my skin would turn purple. I wouldn’t feel anything at all.”

The wife and mother sought help from various experts, including neurologists and MRI specialists, and went through multiple hospital stays. She said she was prescribed eight different medications.

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This was until she connected with Dr. Nitesh Patel, a neurosurgeon and co-director of the Neurosurgical Oncology program at Hackensack Meridian Health at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

In the same interview with Fox News Digital, Patel disclosed his first encounter with Campione’s imaging, which led him to believe there was a larger issue at hand.

campione, patel and a nurse

Campione is shown at left, along with one of her nurses, plus Dr. Patel at far right. He said Hackensack Meridian has performed more awake brain surgeries than any other network in the state.

Patel broke the news to Campione that she had a low-grade glioma on the left side of her brain, explaining the trouble on the right side of her body.

To remove the tumor, the neurosurgeon suggested an awake craniotomy, otherwise known as brain surgery, where the patient is not fully put under.

“I was scared out of my mind,” Campione said in reaction to finding out she’d be kept awake.

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“I couldn’t even believe that was a possibility. I didn’t even know that you could have brain surgery and be awake.”

While the news frightened her, Campione acknowledged that she wasn’t getting any better.

campione family

Selena Campione has been married to her husband for 10 years. The couple has two daughters, ages eight and six.  (Hackensack Meridian Health)

“It was hard on me, but it was also on my family, too,” she said. 

“My girls are little. I missed my daughter’s birthday [because] I was in the hospital. I missed a ton of work. I missed my students.”

” I could see how confident he was that this is what I needed.”

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