Inspiring 71-year-old skydives to recruit hospital volunteers - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Inspiring 71-year-old skydives to recruit hospital volunteers

JoAnn Boatwright skydives for the first time at age 71. JoAnn Boatwright skydives for the first time at age 71.
MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) - A hospital volunteer in her golden years is proving you can follow your dreams at any age.

JoAnn Boatwright just crossed skydiving off of an incredible bucket list wants others to follow her lead.

At 71 years old, the volunteer at Colquitt Regional Hospital is making some life-changing decisions.

"My husband died about 10 years ago. So I started a bucket list with some things I wanted to do," explained Boatwright.

And skydiving was on that list. She traveled to Rockmart, GA for the amazing experience.

"The sensation of falling was the most incredible experience of mine, next to having my children," said Boatwright.

Skydiving is something Boatwright always wanted to do. She said she wasn't afraid to take the plunge, and her family and friends were supportive.

"At first they thought I was crazy when I said I was going to do it. Now they all want to do it too," said Boatwright.

Boatwright had a whole team of supporters waiting for her when she landed after a few minutes in the air.

"They were hollering, 'is she down yet?' When I hit the ground, they wanted to know, 'was I up yet,'" recalled Boatwright.

She said volunteering in a hospital gift shop has given her a more active lifestyle.

"It's been the best experience of my life, giving back to other people," said Boatwright.

Hospital officials said Boatwright has inspired them to live out their wildest dreams.

"She is doing and accomplishing things that make the rest of us say, 'what is holding us back from fulfilling our dreams?'" said Volunteer Coordinator Neali Inmon.

Meanwhile, Boatwright said she plans to skydive every year on her birthday.

She also has ambitions to begin college in January and take a train ride across the United States.

Copyright 2014 WALB. All rights reserved.
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