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Warner Robins nurse celebrates 90th birthday

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. -- A Warner Robins nurse celebrates her 90th birthday on Friday.

Hazel Colson is still working as a nurse at Heart of Georgia Hospice after 72 years.

"I am Happy Humble Huggin' Hazel with Heart of Georgia Hospice," Colson said. "It's a humble feeling and they don't come more humble than me."

You know the saying: If you love what you do, you'll never have to work a day in your life.

"When you get that calling, you enjoy doing things," Colson said. "It doesn't mean it's not hard work. You enjoy doing this."

Colson said she knew as a little girl she wanted to help sick people but didn't know what a nurse was.

"I saw this lady, she was dressed in a white uniform with a white cap," Colson said. "That shot did not hurt me at all because in my mind, that is what I want to be. That's what I'm going to be."

She heard about the cadet nursing program for World War II after graduating high school so she went. One day she saw a man lying in his bed not breathing.

"He's dead," Colson said. "When I said that word, that was the last breath. She put her arms around me and she hugged me and said, 'Listen, he's old and he's alright.'"

Colson has worked in several clinics and hospitals. Now she works at the hospice. She remembers taking care of a boy with AIDS.

"I brought that child a teddy bear because those longing eyes would haunt you to think what that body's going through," Colson said.

She said she always had a genuine care for her patients which is why after 72 years and at the age of 90 she can't retire just yet.

"I've seen babies take their first breath," Colson said. "I've had the honor the great honor of helping them go out of this world."

Colson helped carry the Olympic torch in the 1996 games in Atlanta.

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