• Neurology Patient Stories

    Gratitude, and the Voice of Experience

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.


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