Alfred and Adela Mundt have put their money where their hearts are.
By their own words, the local restaurateurs have enjoyed 11 “miraculous” years since Alfred, 73, received a heart transplant at the former Medical College of Ohio, now The University of Toledo Medical Center. In return for not only their medical care, but also for the kindness they’ve received from those within UTMC’s cardiac system, they’ve donated $1 million to help revive the heart transplant program.
“Without their help, we may not have had these 11 years,” Adela commented shortly before the May 21 opening of UT’s Heart and Vascular Center. “We decided to do everything we could to help UT help other people.”
The Mundts’ donation will fund a transplant-congestive heart failure cardiologist, whom UT is currently recruiting from candidates across the country. The cardiologist will combine with an endowed professorship in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery, which was funded through a $500,000 donation from Dr. S. Amjad Hussein, a UT trustee, retired surgeon and professor emeritus.
“The new Heart and Vascular Center brings together the necessary components for advanced cardiac and vascular care and a new heart transplant program in a state-of-the-art setting,” said Dr. Jeffrey P. Gold, Health Science Campus provost, executive vice president for health affairs and dean of the College of Medicine. “In addition to facilitating transplants, many vascular and cardiac services will be offered, including all cardiac diagnostics, surgery and rehabilitation. Our research capabilities also will allow us to study ways to prevent and medically treat congestive heart failure, which is one of the leading reasons for transplantation.”
The 24,820-square-foot Heart and Vascular Center is located on the first floor of UTMC.
The Mundts’ experiences with UT’s cardiac programs began after Alfred suffered a heart attack in 1983. Their primary cardiac physician, Dr. Thomas Walsh, saw the Mundts through Alfred’s quadruple bypass surgery, arrhythmia problems and, eventually, a heart transplant following congestive heart failure.
“We’ve had a close-knit relationship with the people in the cardiac programs,” Adela said. “You don’t find anything like it anywhere else. The doctors and staff talk to you like you are their only patient in the world.
“We formed a bond many years ago, and it only gets stronger.”
Walsh, a longtime MCO/UTMC cardiologist, was killed in a traffic accident in 2007. The Mundts were determined that his legacy would continue with the revival of UT’s heart transplant program.
“This is so important, so important,” Adela said, noting events her German-born husband of 54 years has savored since his transplant: a son’s marriage, the birth of a handful of grandchildren, and a ceremony to celebrate being named a U.S. citizen.
“It’s been 11 years now and we’ve had a few ups and downs, but they’ve always taken care of us at UTMC,” Adela said. “That’s why we have to continue this work right here.”