Sharing Mayo Clinic

Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

February 24, 2015

Gratitude, and the Voice of Experience

By Hoyt Finnamore

Mark-Pearce-WebMark Pearce jokes that, "If something's going to happen, it's going to happen to me." That sentiment isn't hard to understand in someone who has had eight joint replacements (knees, hips and shoulders – some more than once), has been cardioverted 18 times to restore normal heart rhythm, and had surgery for a brain tumor. Among other things. What may be harder to understand is how he's kept an amazingly positive attitude through it all.

For Mark, it starts with gratitude.

"I feel like being treated like royalty here," he says of his experience at Mayo Clinic. "It's amazing. And if there's any way that I could say thank you to the physicians here and to the complete staff … I wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for you."

Mark came to Mayo Clinic in the 1980s for a procedure physicians in his home state of Michigan were hesitant to perform because of his prior neck fractures. At Mayo Clinic, he found physicians who were able to perform the procedure and manage things when his care got complicated. Since then, he's had his left knee replaced twice, and the right, once; three hip replacements; and two shoulder replacements. Brain surgery. Cardioversion and heart procedures. And a gastric bypass procedure to combat the weight gain cause by his pituitary tumor.

Despite his busy medical history, Mark focuses the positive and the good things that have come from his experiences. For instance, he’s quick to point out that he met his wife, Julie, in Rochester. And he lights up when he talks about being able to donate a piece of bone from one of his hip replacements, which was to be used in back surgery on another patient. "There's a man walking today because of the Mayo Clinic and something they asked me to participate in," he says.

Through it all, Mark says, his physicians and care team have been there for him. And when things got complicated, as they did when he began having an inflammatory response to procedures, he says his doctors were relentless in their search for an answer. "If somebody has a problem, the Mayo Clinic … they won't only just look into it, they'll research it to almost no end, and they'll find the problem,” he says. “And they won't give up on you. I've never been given up on."

In the video below, Mark tells his medical story.


Tags: Hip replacement, Knee Replacement, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Rochester Campus, Shoulder Replacement

thank you for letting me tell my story its been a real pleasure to be a part of the Mayo family


Not this time.. back surgery… The surgeon is wonderful, Dr Bydon… the nurses on ICU 8th floor and 9th floor neuro Mary Brigh at St Marys were so uncaring and had NO compassion ..why do they become nurses???? THey need to learn what its like from the patients side… Chronic pain and then deal with horrible nurses after u wake from recovery… I urge Mark to go somewhere else next time… there are good medical facilities in the Cities to go to….There were many good nurses too but the bad ones really make it hard to ever want to go there again… And to get a different team of doctors each time you go there… If they could keep the same doctors that know the patient and have a good relationship with them… But each time we have to explain all the medications and its so complicated you would think they would look at the last visit and go from there but NO not this time…. It was a nightmare…And this horrible nurse, Dusty, was abusive as far as neglect, lying, and refusing to give Mark a phone so he could call me. He told him to be quiet and shut the door after asking for help many times…..So make sure you get a good team and good nurses before you go for surgery,, Plan everything out before you get surgery so you dont get left hanging with a team of doctors who dont thouroughly read notes….


We’re sorry you feel your experience was unsatisfactory. We have an Office of Patient Experience, and if you wish, you can call and talk to them about your concerns. You can reach the office in Minnesota at 507-284-4988.

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