Tue. Jan 18th, 2022

Fairfax, Virginia — Janet Woods thought Tuesday would be just another day of work at Inova Fairfax Hospital. She showed up to a surprise. 

Woods has spent 50 years as a pediatric nurse — most of those years were in the neonatal intensive care unit. Her fellow nurses thought her accomplishment deserved a celebration. 

Hundreds lined the hospital’s halls and gave the woman they call a superhero 50 roses — one for each year she’s been on the job.

Woods estimated she has helped care for nearly 50,000 babies during her long career. 

Woods, a 71-year-old grandmother, says she hasn’t given retirement a thought, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“If you can extend a hand and help a family or help someone along the way it gives you great joy,” Woods said. “It was never a thought that I would leave. Ever. I would not have abandoned what I do. That’s when you’re needed the most.” 

Nurse Myriam Rich, who has worked with Woods for 20 years, called her an inspiration. 

“I truly always want to be like Janet,” Rich said. 

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By senior