One of Carlton and Ila Crenshaw’s children recalled hearing the story. It was Jan. 29, 1933—a Sunday—and Carlton was trying to convince Ila to marry him right away. But, it being a Sunday, the courthouse was closed and the couple wouldn’t be able to get a marriage license.
“So, then daddy reached in his pocket and pulled out the license. He already had it ready.” Ila didn’t put up any more argument.
On Jan. 29, 2013, the couple celebrated 80 years of marriage in a conference room at Higgins General Hospital in Bremen, where the couple was admitted to the hospital’s special “swing bed” program that provides patients more time to recover from illness or injury with a less intensive level of care than traditional hospital rooms. Hospital staff made special arrangements to allow the Crenshaws to share a hospital room.
Employees at Higgins General Hospital in Bremen, part of Tanner Health System, pulled together with the Crenshaw’s family and friends Tuesday to celebrate, decorating several tables with cake, a punch fountain, chips, fresh fruit and soda.
After their daughter found both of them ailing at home with respiratory problems and had them transported by (the same) ambulance to Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton, hospital staff there also made special arrangements to ensure that the couple could share a room together—a unique proposition for a facility that offers no dual-occupancy rooms.
As the couple recovered from their illness, physicians encouraged the family to think about allowing them to be admitted to Tanner’s special swing bed program.
The swing bed program, available exclusively at Tanner’s Higgins General Hospital in Bremen, allows physicians to provide up to two weeks of additional care at a less-intensive level than traditional hospital care.
Through the swing bed program, patients have access to skilled nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, respiratory therapy, education about living with or recovering from an injury or condition, and time to understand new treatments that may be necessary outside the hospital.
“The use of a swing bed can ensure that a patient is healthy enough and prepared for the lower level of care he or she will experience after being discharged from the hospital,” said Mike Alexander, administrator for Higgins General Hospital in Bremen. “That helps ensure that patients will be less likely to require future hospitalization.”
At Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton, Ila, at 96, recovered a bit faster than her 101-year-old husband and was transferred to the swing bed program at Higgins General Hospital first.
“When we first got there, mom said she didn’t want to stay,” said her daughter, Terrie Kidd. “But after I went up there the next day, she just kept talking about how much she loved everybody up here.”
The Crenshaws married in Randolph County, Ala., and moved to Ephesus in 1965. In 2009, the couple was among the first to crack open a book during a special ceremony commemorating the new Ephesus Public Library.
For more information or to learn more about the services provided by Higgins General Hospital and Tanner’s other facilities, or to find a physician on Tanner’s medical staff, visit www.tanner.org or call 770.214.CARE.