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A National Search for a Pediatric Neurosurgeon Finds Answer at Home

Posted: 4/14/2018

Dr. Pearson and Fisher

A mother’s intuition made Jules Kariher of Gulf Breeze, Florida, determined to find the source of her 9-year-old son Fisher’s mysterious, painful headaches. When he experienced three of these migraine-like headaches in the span of three weeks, “something didn’t feel right,” said Jules.

The Optimal Imaging Sacred Heart facility in Tiger Point performed the MRI, and the source of Fisher’s headaches was discovered -- a tumor deep in his brain. After consulting with several neurosurgeons around the country, Fisher's parents were told that one of the most skilled pediatric neurosurgeons in the nation was Dr. Matthew Pearson at The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart.

“Dr. Pearson is amazing -- wonderful, very calm and personable,” said Jules.

Fisher's parents feared the long-term effects and that he might be different after surgery.

“Dr. Pearson told me, ‘I want to return your son to you just as you brought him to me.’ And he did exactly that,” she said.

After a nine-hour craniotomy and a three-day recovery in The Children’s Hospital, Fisher has made a complete recovery and was quickly back on the baseball field. His rare tumor turned out to be benign, fortunately. When asked what he remembers about the time he spent healing in the hospital, Fisher, now 10, said, “I liked the nurses the best. They made me feel comfortable and safe, and like everything was going to be alright.”

The team even learned what Fisher’s “likes” are and made sure he had a baseball pillowcase on his pillow during recovery and a big painting of a sailboat in his hospital room.

“People don’t realize the gem we have in our backyard,” said Jules. “We have the best of the best right here! We were Sacred Heart Foundation donors before, but our contribution to the hospital has more meaning today. It is truly a gift from our hearts. We are forever grateful to Dr. Pearson and to everyone at The Studer Family Children’s Hospital for giving us Fisher back healthy and whole.”


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