· Article

Sandy’s Journey of Recovery, Through Animals & Rest (Insider Story)

· Article

Sandy’s Journey of Recovery, Through Animals & Rest


Sandy Crook calls it “the accident.” She was walking with a friend at night, outside a school in Escondido, California, when a car hit them at high speed. Sandy went flying—into the windshield, then over the vehicle, hitting the ground hard. “I should have been dead and was told I may lose my right leg,” she says.

That was years ago, and the recovery process has been a long one. “To this day, I’m bent to one side,” Sandy says. As she worked to get back on her feet—despite the pain, and another setback when she found out a year later that she had contracted hepatitis C from the blood transfusion—she started to use animals for therapy and then started to train them, too.

Animal Therapy

Sandy had already been raising French Lop rabbits but started taking them to the hospital to serve as therapy pets for patients, and soon she was doing the same with dogs. As she trained the animals and started working with more people, she found a sense of camaraderie and kinship. She recalls taking some dogs to the hospital, where the care team asked her to single out a boy who had experienced physical and emotional trauma and wasn’t talking. Sandy and the dogs went to him, slowly and calmly forging a connection. By the time they were done, the boy talked.

“I love sharing my journey to help others,” Sandy says. “The animals teach you patience, they teach you understanding, they teach you to reach out.”

Is a Sleep Number Bed Worth It?

Training dogs, especially in agility, has helped Sandy stay active, and is an important part of her own recovery and ongoing wellness routine. Another key part is rest. For years, Sandy slept on a waterbed, but after it started leaking, she started to look at a Sleep Number bed, which a friend had recommended. “I was a little skeptical, because you don’t know if something is going to work,” Sandy says. But it is working! Now it’s really working for me, and I feel like I’m on the right track—it’s really exciting for me. It’s been a long journey.”

In addition to the ability to adjust the mattress firmness, Sandy also singles out the benefits of the In Balance Mattress Layer, which has helped stabilize her temperature and improved her sleep. “I’ve had two knee replacements and when I’m out there, and I run, I’m on my feet all the time. I’m into good nutrition and doing exercises. The bottom line is, you manage it. It’s a whole lifestyle. You can make a difference, but you may need help. And that’s where I’ve found Sleep Number came in, too. The thing is to find your passion and get out there. If you stop playing, you get old.”

What is your Sleep Number setting?

It’s usually 30, but sometimes I adjust it slightly firmer to 35.

Like diet and exercise, quality sleep is essential for optimal health and performance. Because everyone’s sleep needs are different, Sleep Number 360® smart beds, with SleepIQ® technology inside, sense your movements and automatically adjust firmness, comfort and support to keep you both sleeping comfortably. Find your Sleep Number® setting for your best possible night’s sleep.

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