Cooper’s patient, Patrick, is a prodigy when it comes to the piano. His grandfather taught him how to play after Patrick’s parents died. It’s been the only way they’ve been able to connect over the years. The boy has a tumor in the part of the brain that controls hand function. If Amelia operates, it’s likely she’ll destroy all function in his right hand. He won’t be able to play the piano ever again.
Amelia offers a second option. She can do an awake-craniotomy. By doing this, Patrick could alert Amelia whenever she’s nearing an area that affects his hands. The risk of paralysis and other problems are far greater by doing this procedure. Cooper is against it. There’s more to life than the piano, as Coop knows since he used to play. He believed his father was only interested in his piano playing because of his brother who passed away, so he quit.