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

“Grandma” Cynthia Wilson is 81 years old
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Posted at 3:22 AM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 07:29:02-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. —“Grandma” Cynthia Wilson is a seamstress for shining stars.

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

Now the 81-year-old St. Pete woman is helping stars of a different kind: 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!” Wilson says smiling.

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

Why the caps?

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

“Grandma likes to be different,” laughs her granddaughter, Dr. Danielle Hirsch, an emergency room doctor at Johns Hopkins.

"Grandma" made Hirsch scrub caps when she was a medical student. She also sewed the doctor's prom dresses.

So when the doctor and her colleagues needed extra protection during the pandemic, they turned to "Grandma" again who just happened to have stacks of gorgeous fabric stored up from her epic 60-year career.

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

It turned out she did.

Dr. Hirsch says the caps are so popular and beautiful, requests are coming in from outside the hospital, too.

It appears like "Grandma" won’t be retiring her sewing skills anytime soon.