From Surgery to Service


For Jerry Mason, a trip to Palomar Medical Center Escondido for a routine gall bladder procedure resulted in inspiration for a work of art.

That doesn’t happen every day.

But in Jerry’s case, after he recovered he returned to the hospital to present his caregivers a special painting he created to show his appreciation of the care he received as a patient.

“My connection with Palomar Medical Center began by surprise in mid-August 2016 when I had unexpected gall bladder removal surgery,” Mason says. It was expected to be a laparoscopic procedure, but his surgeon told him beforehand that it could wind up being a more extensive procedure and Mason agreed. “When I woke up in post-op, I noticed a 16-staple Maginot Line winding its way straight through my midsection.”

This led to a six-day hospital stay to heal up.

“But during that time I received excellent care from a bevy of hospital professionals at all hours,” Mason says. “About mid-way through my stay I remember 'hearing' a nearly inaudible whisper telling me, ‘I got this, don't worry,’ and so I didn't at all.”

That’s when Jerry’s artistic talents came into play.

“Soon after, I decided to paint a picture of the hospital and give it to them in appreciation for the wonderful healing service they provided to me,” he says.

On September 15, 2016, Mason presented his painting to Shannon Brown, one of the nurses who cared for him during his stay. He also managed to personally thank each of the 24 staff members who were his caregivers.

But Jerry’s story doesn’t end there.

At the urging of Service Excellence Manager Tina Pope, Jerry decided to become a hospital volunteer with the Patient Family Advisory Council, which includes many former patients like him. Most of his volunteering has been on the 8th floor, where he stayed during his time at the hospital.

“During my time on the 8th floor, I have tried to better understand the hospital business from the nurse's perspective (who I believe are the closest thing to professional saints out there), Jerry says. “It has been a very pleasant experience so far and hopefully the beginning of a great new ongoing volunteer relationship.  The bottom line for me is that I like to serve with people who serve for a profession...and there is no group better at doing that than the professionals at Palomar Medical Center.”

An inspiring story, from an inspired patient…who also happens to be an inspired artist.

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