CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Sherrie Mills had no idea what was awaiting her at the hospital in Charlotte when her teammates picked her up in a stretch limousine outside Atrium Health Union in Monroe.
The longest-tenured nurse in the Atrium system stepped out to see her friends and colleagues cheering for her 50 years of dedicated service.
“My heart's always been right here, even as a young child starting at seven,” said Mills.
Her teammates handed her a bouquet of flowers and walked her through an arch of blue balloons to a memorial in her honor decorated with pictures taken over the course of her lengthy career.
“I would not know what to do in the mornings without getting up and coming to work. That's been my life for 50 plus years now,” said Mills.
Mills has seen it all during her time with the health care system: from treating some of the first heart transplant patients to treating plane crash survivors, and her continued work with Covid patients.
“There's new challenges every day. I'm so grateful to have a new opportunity, but people are people no matter what. Throughout the years, they all need our care, our love and our compassion,” said Mills.
And she's not done yet.
“I've had a wonderful life and I want to continue still doing and sharing myself with all the people that I can help. I plan on keep on doing it as long as my health, and I have wonderful health of which I am most grateful for, as it has been a great 50 years,” said Mills.