NewsPinellas County


Longtime Miss America seamstress makes protective scrub caps for staff at St. Pete hospital

Posted at 5:22 PM, Jun 03, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Longtime Miss America seamstress “Grandma” Cynthia Wilson made dozens of protective scrub caps for medical staff at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg.

“Grandma” Cynthia Wilson is a seamstress for shining stars.

For 31 years, the sewing legend worked the Miss America pageant, fixing dresses and calming nerves.

And now, the 81-year-old St. Pete woman is helping stars of a different kinds: the amazing front-line workers at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg.

Pretty much everyone there calls her “Grandma.”

“It feels wonderful!” she smiles.

Grandma and a small crew of helpers made dozens of colorful scrub caps for the medical staff. The caps protect the hair and head from coronavirus and germs.

Why the caps?

“Oh, everyone’s doing masks,” she says with a grin. “I don’t like repetition.”

“Grandma likes to be different,” laughs her granddaughter Dr. Danielle Hirsch, an ER doctor at the hospital.

Back when Hirsch was a medical student, Grandma made her scrub caps and her prom dresses.

So when the doctor and her colleagues needed extra protection during the pandemic, they turned to Grandma again. After all, she had miles and miles of gorgeous fabric stored up from an epic 60-year career.

“Everybody kept telling me to get rid of it. But I said no, I might need it someday," Grandma said.

Dr. Hirsch says Grandma’s caps are so popular, requests are coming in from outside the hospital, too.