Leaving Her Mark: A Grateful Patient Gives Back

In 2006, at the age of 46, Karen Gorman was the picture of perfect health. She kept an active lifestyle, playing co-ed soccer on the weekends and travelling as often as her schedule allowed. So it was surprising to Karen when she suddenly became ill during one of her many trips that year.

After returning home, Karen made an appointment with her gastroenterologist who discovered a tumor on her liver. It was recommended that she see John Goss, M.D., chief of abdominal transplantation at Baylor College of Medicine, to have the mass removed.

Like many patients, Karen was anxious about undergoing surgery, so she turned to the internet and former patients to learn more about Dr. Goss’s background. Her nerves were soon eased, she says, after finding one phrase repeated over and over: “He is the best!”

Within one month, Karen was on the operating room table and her tumor was removed.

 “The surgery kicked my butt, but I had no recovery issues, and I owe that to Dr. Goss’s care,” she said. “I believe he saved my life. He’s my hero.”

While in the hospital, Karen agreed to be visited by medical students, so that they could learn more about caring for her condition. Karen says she strives to follow the good example of her parents, Pat and Fran, who always have made a priority of helping others and volunteering.

After her recovery and with a new appreciation for life, Karen set out to help the causes that matter most to her by establishing a living trust. In addition to providing her and her family with financial security, Karen’s living trust enabled her to make thoughtful charitable gifts as part of her long-range estate and financial plans. She chose to leave the remainder of her estate to several organizations, including Baylor College of Medicine.

“I feel good about making this gift, and even smile when I think about it. It’s all about leaving my mark by helping others,” Karen said.

Today, Karen is spunky as ever and continues to travel, recently swimming with whale sharks and manta rays while visiting Cozumel.