A Nurse For 50 Years, Who Refused To Retire Because Of Pandemic Dies From COVID-19

An ER nurse who did not wish to retire so she could keep helping her colleagues through the pandemic has died after contracting Covid-19.

Betty Grier Gallagher dedicated her life to helping those in need, having been a nurse at the Coosa Valley Medical Center in Alabama for nearly 50 years.

Even though she was urged to stay safe at home when the crisis took off last March, Betty kept on working tirelessly, caring for patients and co-workers alike, until she was hit by the virus right before Christmas.

She worked during the night so that she could teach younger nurses, becoming everyone’s favorite ‘work mom’ in the process.

Betty’s son, Carson Grier Jr, told CNN that his mother ‘didn’t do it to stand out’, but, ‘she did it because this is who she was; this is her calling’.

‘This was her purpose and plan for her life, and she lived it daily,’ Carson added.

Image: Coosa Valley Medical Center

Betty passed away one day before her 79th birthday, on January 10.

She died at the hospital, in the company of all those she cared for and loved her.

‘The whole CVMC family is deeply saddened by the loss of our ER nurse, Mrs Betty Grier Gallaher, to the COVID-19 pandemic,’ the hospital posted on Facebook.

‘Mrs Betty graduated from LPN school at Nunnelly State Technical College and then went to RN school at Sylacauga Hospital School of Nursing. She was truly a home-grown nurse. Mrs Betty worked at CVMC over 43 years – over half of our facility’s entire history.’

The whole CVMC family is deeply saddened by the loss of our ER nurse, Mrs. Betty Grier Gallaher, to the COVID-19…

Posted by Coosa Valley Medical Center on Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Hospital COO, Amy Price, said:

Mrs Betty always had a smile on her face and was our encourager. She was a nurse’s nurse. She embodied our charge to care for patients’ mind, body, and spirit. She was always gentle and cared deeply for her patients. We mourn her loss and celebrate her life. We extend our sincere condolences to her family.

One nurse, who Betty had taken under her wing to teach her the ropes, said she would worry about the safety of nurses as much as that of patients.

‘She’s going to stop you while you’re busy, just to make sure you’re okay,’ Nikki Jo Hatten told CNN.

Nikki added that Betty would even feed any person who didn’t have the chance to bring food to their 12-hour shift, and would hold hands with those who needed help.

Bellow, you can see Nikki’s farewell video to Betty.

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