Martha Cooley's nursing career began at the Grenada hospital, three years after she graduated from high school in nearby Gore Springs.
It's where she's winding down her calling, which has taken her family from the Delta to New Mexico and back. But don't count Cooley among the retirees just yet.
She's only 86, with a birthday around the corner in August.
“People say, 'Are you sure you're that old?'' said Cooley, a nurse at the University of Mississippi Medical Center Grenada since October 1994. “I tell them, 'That's what my mama says.'”
Cooley works part-time as needed on the second floor reserved for patients who've just come from surgery. When she's not at the hospital, you might find her on a bush hog or a tractor.
“I'm keeping up the 10 acres ... I have. Yesterday, I pushed a mower from 9 until 5, but I took breaks,” she said. “We put a pond in. I like to clean house. I play piano, and I love to sing.“
When Cooley begins a shift, the country girl at heart has a checklist.
“The first thing I do is go see that patient, eye to eye, and check that IV,” she said. “That's just something that's a pet peeve with me. I want to know that it's OK.”Continue Reading...