On a summer Friday afternoon in 2002, Carolyn Mull had finished work early and went home to run some errands. She was doing laundry upstairs when she heard her son come through their front door. As Carolyn headed down to greet him, an overpowering pain in her head forced her to sit on the stairs. She laid down and managed to whisper her son’s name.
Carolyn suffered a brain aneurysm and woke up in the hospital 10 days later, just before she was scheduled for surgery. “It was the worst pain in my head I had ever felt in my life,” she recalls. “When I woke up, I knew there was more work for me to do. And since that time, I dedicate myself to genuinely caring for others.”
Today, Carolyn works as a donor client service representative at Anne Arundel Medical Center’s Blood Donor Center. Once a very shy person, she says her job taught her how to open up and let her own light shine. Often referring to her donors as family, she finds joy in what she does when she sees them happy. “I’m passionate about what I do,” she says. “I love my job so much because it gives me an opportunity to give back.”
More than once, she has gone beyond her call of duty to help drive blood donations. “A lady wanted to come in and donate but her kids were out of school and she had no one who could help watch them,” she recalls. “I told her to bring the children in and I would watch over them. When they came in, they hadn’t eaten lunch yet so I took them to the cafeteria and got them food. This is what I would do for all my donors.”
Often reflecting on her doctor’s words 17 years ago that she had a 50/50 chance of surviving a brain aneurysm, she says she is grateful to be here today. “I was one of the ones that made it,” she says. “The experience I went through taught me how to care and love others more each day.”
Pro tip: “Always be giving.”