Gaining Confidence from Life Saving Care | Torrance Memorial

Published on July 01, 2021

Gaining Confidence from Life Saving Care

dr Shum with wound care patient

What started as a superficial scratch 51- year-old Oscar Gallardo made on his left toe last June while swimming in a pool turned out to be so much more. After several days of self-care, he noticed discoloration at the scratch site had spread throughout his forefoot. Having underlying diabetes since childhood, he became concerned and made an appointment to see his physician. He was told not to worry, was treated with creams and told not to wear shoes to give his foot a chance to heal. After nearly five months of treatment, an infection developed. He feared he would lose his entire foot. At this point, he sought help at Torrance Memorial’s Burn, Wound Healing and Amputation Prevention Center - where he found life and limb-saving care. “From the moment I met Dr. Karen Shum, I told her I would do anything to save my foot,” said Gallardo.

Dr. Shum quickly diagnosed a vascular blockage previously missed, which prevented his healing. A vascular procedure was done to clear the vessel blockage. Dr. Shum told him infected toes was necessary. She would try to preserve as much of his foot as possible to enable ambulation with a functional limb. From proper diagnosis and problem-solving to surgery, Gallardo found the care at Torrance Memorial to be very good and personal. “I found the confidence I needed and received life-saving care,” said Gallardo. The team at Torrance Memorial gave him the reassurance that he was finally getting the right care. Dr. Shum even arranged for state-of-the-art hyperbaric oxygen therapy to prevent further infection and promote healing. Gallardo is now making a full recovery.

He was also inspired to make personal lifestyle changes by exercising routinely and improving his diet. Today, he has lost nearly 65 lbs. and feels like he has his life back – not to mention the preservation of his left foot. Gallardo has been able to return to work and credits the team at Torrance Memorial Wound Healing and Amputation Prevention Center for saving his foot and enabling him to walk again.


For more information, visit Wound Care & Amputation Prevention