Little Egg Harbor, NJ – Seacrest Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center recently celebrated the 100th birthday of Verna Gilley. The 100-year young resident celebrated her birthday this past December alongside a very special nurse who works at the Little Egg Harbor 171 bed skilled nursing facility. Michelle Bakhtiyarov, followed in her Great Grandmother Verna’s footsteps of a distinguished nursing career.
“It was such a delight for all of us at Seacrest to celebrate Verna’s milestone birthday along with Michelle and their family,” said Seacrest Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center’s Stacy Ziemba, activities director. “Verna is always an interesting person to talk with as she has amazing recall on her life experiences. We are so glad she is here at Seacrest.”
Gilley was 21 years old when she began her decades-long career as a nurse at Mountainside Hospital, which later became Morristown Memorial Hospital, working the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift. Both her mother and mother-in-law lived nearby and helped in getting the children off to school in the mornings. At age 65, she retired from the hospital, continuing to work as a private nurse for a time. Gilley reflects fondly on her career in nursing, offering words of wisdom suitable for all professionals, “you have to have patience and enjoy what you are doing,” she said. The centenarian also notes how far medical technology has come since her early days as a nurse.