On November 17, 2012, a dedication ceremony was held for Nani’s Garden, an outdoor area for reflection and meditation at McLane Children’s Hospital Scott & White. Darrell Crisp, MD, named the garden in honor of his wife Dana, who passed away in February 2011. Her beauty, love, and dedication to their family inspired Dr. Crisp, and now Dana’s legacy will live on through Nani’s Garden.
It was their tradition to visit the Hawaiian Islands that brought about the name Mrs. Crisp’s was called by her grandchildren. Every year since 2000, Dr. and Mrs. Crisp visited the islands, so it was no surprise when they became grandparents for the first time that she chose to be called “Nani” by her new grandchild. Meaning “beautiful” in Hawaiian, Dr. Crisp thought it was very fitting, reflecting his wife’s inner as well as outer beauty, in addition to the love of the islands that they shared.
“Dana was a teacher by degree, but her real love was wildlife art. She was constantly watercolor painting,” he remembers. The high school sweethearts began dating in their senior year of high school, and while they attended colleges in Austin and San Antonio, they ended up marrying when Dr. Crisp was a senior (Mrs. Crisp completed her studies in three years and graduated early so she could join him).
Over the next several years, they began a family, and while raising their three children, Mrs. Crisp also worked to support Dr. Crisp as he completed medical school and his residency. A neurology fellowship in Salt Lake City was followed by the Crisp’s return to Texas, and the beginning of a lifetime of service at Scott & White as a pediatric neurologist.
While working in the Pediatric Clinic on the Temple main campus, he and a small group of colleagues looked into creating a healing garden for patients and their families. “It turned out to be a rather expensive project, so we took the funds that were initially raised and put them away, hoping another opportunity would present itself.”
In Spring 2011, Dr. Crisp retired from practice, and when McLane Children’s Hospital Scott & White officially opened that October, he knew it was time to revisit the project. Dr. Crisp couldn’t think of a more fitting tribute to the love of his life and his children’s/grandchildren’s biggest fan. Along with his children, including son Matthew who is a radiologist at McLane Children’s, and his wife’s family, Dr. Crisp stepped forward to claim the naming opportunity for a healing garden at the hospital in memory of his late wife. His former peers from the Pediatric Clinic gladly earmarked the monies they had for the project as well.
Populated with beautiful native Texas plants, the garden will serve as a place of relaxation, reflection, meditation, and most importantly, hope, for the patients and families receiving care at McLane Children’s. It is also a place where Dr. Crisp, his children, and four grandchildren can visit to celebrate the life and legacy of an incredible woman that they loved.