Frances Scott was at the height of her career when, at the age of 39, she had both hips surgically removed and replaced with two metal-on-metal Pinnacle model hips, made by Johnson & Johnson. For seven years, these implants leaked toxic cobalt, chromium and other metals into her bloodstream, destroying her career, finances, family life and relationships. And Frances is not the only one to experience this — Dr. Stephen Tower’s experience with Pinnacle hips is featured in The Bleeding Edge.
When you don’t get better from a surgery that causes most 70 year-olds to miss a few golf games at most, quite frankly, people just assume you’re lying.
My entire career as a news anchor and all of my relationships have been based upon my trustworthiness. These metal hips destroyed my career and almost all of my relationships.
When you just don’t get better after what should have been a relatively routine surgery, formerly unknown adversaries in your workplace, for example, can take advantage of the chance to gossip about you. While you’re out on unpaid medical leave, crying constantly, lying in a bed at home, weeping, they’ll take the chance to say you’re lying or exaggerating the “complications” a person at work hears you’ve been having. They might try to spread it around your workplace or even to those in your entire industry that you’ve developed a narcotics addiction or some sort of emotional disorder. They’ll seize upon the chance to try to destroy the relationships you’ve spent decades building with your coworkers, friends, clients and bosses, with the hope that by eliminating you from your job, they’ll be promoted into your position. Most people who don’t get better after being implanted with bad medical products lose everything.
Most of my relationships were dependent upon my ability to function normally as a wife, mother, daughter, niece or friend.
When you just don’t get better, only your spouse and kids might still believe you when you say, month after month or year after year, that your legs hurt and you know something just hasn’t been right since the day you got these implants.
Your spouse and kids are quite possibly the only ones who might believe that you are in fact not lying when you say you just can’t walk, or when you say that it’s the pain that’s keeping you up, all night, every night. Your husband knows you toss and turn all night long, and have every night for years. Your kids have seen you trying to make dinner but ending up sobbing on the kitchen floor with your legs visibly shaking under you. Your kids and spouse have seen what you try to hide from everyone else — like the bleeding boils that developed all over your body right after you got the hips implanted. They know that, before the hip surgery, you were the type of person who would run for miles. They know you have always been so filled with energy and creativity that you simply couldn’t sit still long enough to watch a single TV show, yet all you can do now is sit and cry.
Your kids and spouse — and maybe your parents too — worry that maybe you’ve just developed extreme anxiety, depression or some sort of mood disorder. They know that what they’re seeing is just not the ‘you’ they’ve always known; they just aren’t quite sure what’s become of the old you, knowing too that the numerous surgeons you’ve seen all have told you that your specific medical products are wonderful and that nobody else is having the problems with them that you say you’re having. They might know that, “according to the research published in all the medical literature,” your hips are almost perfect. You begin to feel lost and hopeless. After a few years, you know you’re almost completely alone in this.
My hips absolutely destroyed my life and, worse still, the life my husband and I had worked our tails off for decades to give to our three very young children. These hips ruined most of my relationships. Most people simply didn’t believe that the hips could be the root cause of my constant pain and my other bizarre symptoms. They ruined my ability to make significant contributions towards our home, house payments, bills and our kids’ college funds. Worse still, they ruined what I was most looking forward to doing with the little family I planned to have one day: simply taking walks together after dinner.
The hips kept me from teaching my kids tennis. These hips kept me from being able to lift my babies up to a bathroom countertop when they skinned their knees. These hips kept us from being able to vacation with our children. These hips erased great memories my kids certainly would have had if nobody had ever implanted me with defective devices. I worked for the Walt Disney Company for a decade, which used to give its employees free passes into the park. We could not and did not take our young children once to Disneyland, because I couldn’t walk. Money we would have spent on vacations to see Mickey Mouse was spent instead on paying for surgeons and physical therapists and trying to keep us in the modest home we’d bought.
For almost seven years straight, these hips simply destroyed the spirit of fun and happiness which I had always hoped to bring into my home. I was going to be a better mom than the hips have enabled me to be. All my life I had hoped to be a fun, active mom and wife. I was going to be a great, supportive, active coworker and friend to everyone around me. That’s who I used to be — before I got these metal hips.
These hips truly ruined everything. For a while they even ruined my ability to trust that I was really feeling what I was feeling.
Since getting the new, (non-metal) hips, though, I have 99.9% less pain. All along, for the past seven years, it really has been the metal being shed from the old set of fake hips that was torturing my tissue, nervous and limbic systems, and my vital organs too.
I’m moving on with life now, but “traumatic” doesn’t even begin to explain what it’s like to have a bad medical device implanted in you. Honestly, in private conversations with other Pinnacle victims, I have it equated this experience to feeling like a giant corporation was traumatizing me, constantly, all day, every day. There was something in me that I simply didn’t want in my body, and there was almost no way to get it out, aside from taking drastic measures, which finally I have taken.