Michigan woman granted dying wish to visit Savannah


Over the past 285 years, Savannah has been graced by visits from presidents, athletes and actors.

This week the Hostess City welcomed a woman who’s appreciated what the city has to offer as much as anyone ever has in their lifetime.

Janet Slaughter, 49, is a Michigan native and a mom of three. 

In 2008 she started suffering from severe fatigue. This lead to a diagnosis of heart failure. Despite her heart continuing to weaken and having a device attached to her to help her function, she stayed positive that she could get a heart transplant.

“I could not be on the heart transplant list anymore because I was diagnosed with renal carcinoma less than a year ago, which is kidney cancer,” she said.

Still, she stayed optimistic which allowed her to see the birth of her two grandchildren.

The cancers continued to spread and her hospice care staff told her she didn’t have much time.

“They said, ‘What is one thing you would really like to do and one thing that one thing that you wanted to do but never could?’ and I said, ‘Go to Savannah,” Slaughter said.

Decades ago, Slaughter’s family passed through the city on a road trip.

“I was like what is that stuff hanging from the trees,” referring to the iconic Spanish moss. “So it became a bucket list of mine” to return and spend time immersed in the city.

“One of these days we’re gonna go there. We’re gonna go. Then when I took a turn for the worst, I kinda got to thinking, it’s not going to happen,” she said.

But Slaughter’s health improved and her family began planning for their trip to Savannah. They even held a garage sale in Michigan to help with travel funds. Reportedly, her hospice staff also raised money for the trip as well out of their own pockets.

Her daughter called Creek Fire campgrounds which provided four nights in a cabin for the whole family for free.

The family was able to then go on a trolley tour of Savannah, experience a dolphin tour and explore the downtown area.

Throughout, Slaughter’s eye shined bright recalling the trip’s highlights saying everything was “awesome.”

”I started to pick up the word y’all,” she exclaimed with a giggle.

This newfound Southern Belle an ambassador for Savannah wants this memory to last. For now., her cup is no longer half-full but overflowing with gratefulness and joy.

“I want them [her family] to remember me now and not the one in the bed,” she said. “When I get home I’m telling everyone about Savannah and Creek Fire and saying, ‘You need to go,  you need to go, you need to go ’cause you’re going to miss out if you don’t.”

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