Alabama nurse who refused to retire during pandemic dies from COVID-19

Betty Grier Gallaher, RN, who worked more than 50 years as an emergency room nurse and refused to retire during the pandemic, died this month from COVID-19, CNN reported.  

Known as "Miss Betty," Ms. Gallaher worked much of her career at Coosa Valley Medical Center in Sylacauga, Ala. Her loved ones told CNN she worked the night shift and loved caring for patients, co-workers, and family.

Toward the beginning of the pandemic, co-workers asked her to stay home for her own safety, but she refused to stay on the sidelines for the duration of the public health crisis.  

Coosa Valley ER nurse and supervisor Nikki Jo Hatten told CNN Ms. Gallaher stayed home a day or two but returned to work. She worked until she contracted COVID-19 in December. The 78-year-old was hospitalized at Coosa Valley Medical Center and died there on Jan. 10.  

The hospital announced the news Jan. 12 in a Facebook post.

"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," Amy Price, chief nursing officer and COO of Coosa Valley Medical Center, wrote in the post.

Ms. Gallaher worked at Coosa Valley Medical Center for more than 43 years.

Read the full CNN story here.


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