Former patient now working alongside doctor who performed life-saving brain surgery on him

ByChristie Ileto WPVI logo
Tuesday, February 6, 2024
Former CHOP patient now working as research assistant alongside doctor who saved his life
Former CHOP patient now working as research assistant alongside doctor who saved his life

PHILADELPHIA -- Kevin Eaise was once a pediatric patient at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia with a brain tumor, but he's now working alongside the doctor who performed his surgery years earlier.

His mission is to research the tumor that jeopardized his vision.

"When I was 10, I had a brain surgery for a tumor that was causing double vision," said Eaise.

Eaise says the double vision started during a baseball game and within a week, he was having surgery at CHOP.

"I got called that there was a boy in the MR machine who had obstructive hydrocephalus from a brain tumor," said Dr. Phillip Storm.

Storm said Eaise had Tectal Glioma, a benign growth at his brain stem that was blocking spinal fluid.

"The pressure starts building and the spinal fluid in his head and that's what was making him sick, not the tumor," he said. "These tumors in most instances, not all, but most, including Kevin's, don't continue to grow and don't require chemotherapy."

But Eaise's story didn't end there. He's now working as a clinical research assistant alongside the very doctor who performed the surgery, often talking to pediatric patients and their families to consent to having their tumor studied.

It's a full-circle moment that's been a lifetime in the making.

"I was looking at some pictures the other day. I was one of these patients. Talking to these families, I think it does help. If they're on the fence about the research. I also point to myself and say I went through this situation," said Eaise.

He hopes he's making a difference to the families now who are going through what he did.

"Talking to the families has been awesome. That's the first hand making a difference," he said. "You see some of these kids with a lot worse prognosis than me and kind of watch the surgeries and be reminded that could have been me if things were slightly different."

Eaise's family also created a foundation that raised close to $1 million for research and the lab. In the meantime, he has applied to medical school and is waiting to hear back.