Second Chance at Life Inspires Giving Tuesday Gift
June 23, 2016

After experiencing nights without sleep and extremely swollen feet, a retired aerospace supervisor of computer operations, William Mullen, knew something was wrong with his health. He slid on his slippers, the only shoes that would fit, and drove himself to Torrance Memorial Urgent Care. Due to his symptoms, he was immediately sent to the Torrance Memorial Medical Center Emergency Department, where he underwent an echocardiogram and computed tomography (CT) scan. Doctors discovered an aneurysm had formed on his left aorta.

Mullen was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), but he wasn’t in the clear yet. It was during his second night in the hospital that he went into cardiac arrest. The quick-thinking medical staff was able to bring him back to consciousness with a defibrillator, something the on-staff physician found remarkable.

Had Mullen stayed at home, he would not be here to share his story today. Mullen went on to spend three nights at Torrance Memorial, after which he was transferred to Keck Medicine of USC. Torrance Memorial has an affiliation with USC’s Keck School of Medicine to expand heart surgery services at the medical center in Torrance to provide expertise in a variety of complex heart procedures. A year has passed, and thanks to health care partners like Jack Sun, MD, thoracic and cardiac surgeon, Mullen has a new lease on life.

“If it wasn’t for Torrance Memorial, I would not be alive today,” he says.

On December 1, 2015, Mullen received an email from Torrance Memorial requesting donations for Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a global movement to celebrate generosity and to give back. Observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) after the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

Mullen decided Giving Tuesday would be the perfect time to honor the experienced staff, nurses and physicians who saved his life just one year earlier.

“I donated on Giving Tuesday to give honor to all of the staff in the ICU who save lives every day,” Mullen says. “Thank you for giving me a second chance at life.”

The Torrance Memorial Foundation celebrated Giving Tuesday for the first time in 2015 to acknowledge that community support for local health care can take many shapes—large and small.

“Measure your net worth not by how much you have, but by how many you impact with your generosity,” Laura Schenasi, the executive vice president of the Torrance Memorial Foundation, says. “While Giving Tuesday is a great reason to give, Torrance Memorial is tremendously grateful for all gifts received year-round of any size.” She continues, “Each one in some way benefits the more than 800,000 lives in our service area.”

To learn about various types of gifts one can make to Torrance Memorial,