Memorial Hospital nurse Shirley Dixon has spent 44 yearsnurturing newborns.
Friday, family, friendsand co-workers celebrated her service to ouryoungest members of the community.
"I can truly say that I love my job, I'm blessed to havebeen put somewhere that I love working," said Dixon.
Dixon graduated from nursing school at Memorial in 1968 andbegan working in the nursery in 1969.
She says her favorite part, introducing newborns to theirfamilies.
"There were a lot oftears sometimes laughing, sometimes fainting," said Dixon.
Hospital officials estimate that in her 44 years Dixon hascared for about 20,000 babies.
And as she likes to say she taughtevery mother to feed the end that cries, wipe the end that pees and loveeverything in between.
"She has been a greatinfluence, a great role model. She's made a tremendous impact not only onfamilies but also co-workers," said Rose Johnson, Nurse.
Dixon says her most memorable newborn was from about 30years ago, she said the baby was born weighing one pound and 15 ounces and madea remarkable recovery.
"She was on oxygenfor 40 days, she did really well and went on to college," said Dixon.
It takes a special person to care for children and Dixonshowed genuine compassion and love to every child placed in her arms.
"When I go to theschool to pick up my granddaughter I sit in the car and I wonder how many ofthose babies did I take care of," said Dixon.
"She loved thosebabies she still loves those babies everything she did was from her heart,"said Rose Lamb, Nurse.
Even though she is retiring from the nursery Dixon says shewill spend her spare time taking care of her grandchildren.