Taylor Suffers Heart Attack; Says it Was a ‘Wake-Up Call’

Beverly Irwin
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Bill Taylor, Glendale Commmunity College’s Director of Business Services, fills a job that touches on nearly all aspects of campus operations. If it involves a contract, it will cross Taylor’s desk, and with the current major construction on campus and accompanying decisions, his desk is testimony to a busy man.

But early in the summer, Taylor’s professional life was abruptly slowed down.

“June 22. I’ll never forget that day,” says Taylor. Had it not been for a poor result on a cardio treadmill stress test three days before, he might not have recognized the signs. He may have thought the pain that woke him on that Saturday morning was from sleeping the wrong way or perhaps indigestion.

“On a scale of one to 10 it was about a four,” he says, but when the pain moved across his upper left shoulder to his chest he knew things were not right.

He had his wife drive him to the emergency room, where after a series of blood tests the doctor calmly advised,”Mr. Taylor, you’ve had a heart attack.”

After moving from the emergency room to the intensive care unit of the Henry Mayo Hospital in Newhall for three days he was transferred to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Burbank where an angiogram showed a 95 percent blocked artery. On June 25, doctors successfully performed an angioplasty and inserted a stent – a wire mesh tube used to hold the artery open. He went home the next day.

Although he is still weak and his energy level low, he has enrolled in a cardiac rehabilitation program at St. Joseph’s, takes five different medications a day, and has drastically modified his diet, cutting out fat and salt and reducing his carbohydrate consumption. Already he has lost 20 pounds and is confidently on track for losing a few more.

Taylor was away from the college, where he has worked for the past 27 years, for a total of seven weeks. He returned to work on Aug. 12 and is back working 10 hours a day, four days a week.

During his absence Taylor’s work was handled by his staff, headed by Susan Mesko, the college’s contract analyst. The staff hopes this type-A “teddy-bear” will learn to take things a little easier and start to delegate more. “It was a wake-up call,” Taylor admits.

His new Administrative Assistant, Liza West, had just started work on June 21. So even though she has been on the job for over two months she is only now getting to know her boss.

“It’s a big campus and we’re very busy,” said West. The first week back was a long week, says Taylor, who has been busy catching up on the progress of construction and purchases, and stepping right back into decision-making mode.

His first week back on the job was followed Saturday by a joint celebration – for his return to work and his daughter Anna-Lisa’s 11th birthday.

This article was printed on Page 3 of the Sept. 3 issue of El Vaquero.