A gathering with friends and family, dinner at a special restaurant – that’s how most 84-year-olds might choose to spend their birthdays. But not World War II Navy veteran and retired NYC fireman William T. Mundy of Broad Channel, NY. No, Mr. Mundy went sky diving.
William Mundy skydives for the first time.
But in addition to having an interesting birthday story, Mr. Mundy also has a medical history that includes suffering for years with atrial fibrillation – an irregular and often rapid heart rate that causes poor blood flow to the body. In 2008, a dizzy spell brought him to Winthrop’s Emergency Room, which led him to Todd Cohen, MD, Director of Electrophysiology and the Pacemaker/ Arrhythmia Center at Winthrop. Dr. Cohen determined that Mr. Mundy was a candidate for an implantable converter defibrillator (ICD) – a small device that corrects abnormalities in the heart’s rhythm and delivers lifesaving therapies to treat dangerous arrhythmias.
Mr. Mundy agreed to the procedure, and thanks to the outstanding care and continuous monitoring that he has received from Dr. Cohen and his team, Mr. Mundy is now in overall good health. With his new lease on life, Mr. Mundy decided that there was no better time than the present to fulfill one of his life-long dreams.
“I have always loved heights and wanted to go skydiving,” said Mr. Mundy, who on a pristine June morning looked out from his second home in New Paltz, NY, and said to himself, “Today’s the day!”
After taking off from The Ranch in Gardener, NY, Mr. Mundy made his first dive from high above the clouds. He enjoyed the experience so much that he’s gone three more times since then, including on his 84th birthday as his loved ones looked on. He plans to jump again on his next birthday on September 6 or, according to Mr. Mundy, “unless I get the urge to go before then!”
In addition to skydiving, Mr. Mundy has been able to enjoy numerous special activities in recent months thanks to his stable health. He was a participant on the Daily News’ float during the 2011 Veterans Day Parade in New York City, and, most recently was chosen from among several hundred applicants to participate in Veterans of the Game, hosted by the New York Mets at Citi Field on May 17, 2012.
“My father’s dream – and all of these recent things – would have never been possible if it weren’t for the outstanding care that he received at Winthrop,” said Mr. Mundy’s daughter, Jill, who is truly grateful to all of the staff who played a role in the care of both her father and mother, who was also a patient at Winthrop several years ago. “It has changed his life.”