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Visit is "Bucket List" Item for Craig Family Member

October 14, 2019

Most people don’t make vacation plans around visiting a hospital, but Craig supporter Janet Wilson, 79, did just that. In 1985, Craig Hospital cared for her husband, Bob Wilson, for five months after a train-car accident.

“It was one of two items on my short bucket list—seeing my granddaughter graduate college and getting back to Craig,” says Janet.

The trip back to Craig this past summer brought up “poignant feelings” of her time at Craig when Bob received rehabilitation after sustaining a spinal cord injury. The California couple was returning from a camping trip in the Nevada desert when they were hit by a fast-moving freight train as they crossed remote tracks without crossing arms or lights.

“Everything that happened that day redefined the rest of my life,” Janet says.

Bob and Janet cut their wedding cake on the Craig Hospital terrace in 1985.

Toward the end of Bob’s rehabilitation, the couple married in the Craig chapel. From there, they returned to Northern California and bought a small farm, growing tomato and alfalfa. Bob enjoyed the peaceful farm and its remote way of life. Janet was dedicated to caring for Bob until his death in 2013.

During their recent tour of Craig, Janet and her daughter Jill had “jaw dropping” moments when they witnessed some of the cutting-edge treatments now offered to patients. It solidified for Janet why she chose to include Craig in her estate plans. Both mother and daughter enjoyed meeting Rev. Candi Boyd, Craig’s chaplain. Candy’s predecessor, Rich Stewart, married the couple—whom Janet was recently surprised to meet again 34 years later on a cruise in the Baltic Sea.

“Craig has a special place in my heart. It has changed physically since we spent time there, but it has that same, positive aura. Everybody is doing good things. Everybody is getting on,” she says.

Janet proudly wears a tattoo of a person in a wheelchair on her wrist, reminding her of Craig, and her own long-term commitment to caring for someone with a spinal cord injury.

Janet wishes she lived nearby so she could volunteer her time at Craig. She’s honored to be a part of the Frank Craig Society so she can help people “get a head start” with rehab—a gift Craig gave Bob over 30 years ago.