Albany woman honors parents lost to COVID-19 with new business

Albany woman honors parents lost to COVID-19 with new business

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The COVID-19 pandemic made the past year hard for many people.

Teri Franklin lost both of her parents within weeks of each other. This month, she launched a sewing business she and her mother planned to build together.

Teri Franklin told WALB News 10 that 2020 almost broke her.

“It was very rough. Very rough. Very, very rough,” she said. “I lost both of my parents to COVID-19.”

Her mother, Marjorie Franklin, caught COVID-19 in March at the start of the pandemic. When she started to get sick, they thought it was her allergies.

“So we do like we normally do, we take her to the doctor, we let her get her Z-packs you know? And after that week she’d be fine,” she said.

But this time, Marjorie wasn’t. She told Franklin she couldn’t breathe and ached all over. So, she took her mother to the hospital. It wasn’t very long before she also noticed something was wrong with her dad.

“Maybe the next day or so, he started getting the same symptoms.”

Nathaniel Franklin ended up dying from the disease in April, a few weeks after his wife.

“The crying every night. It took me months to actually get over it. I did go through counseling,” she said.

“I went through grievance counseling because that’s the only way I could get through this, having to bury both of my parents.”

Franklin said women in her family have been seamstresses for generations. She was in the beginning stages of launching a new business with her mom making cartoon-themed surgical caps for children when this all happened.

“That would be something that we could both do together. So we both started cutting out. I would cut them out and I would call my mom. She would come to get the ones I cut out and she would start doing the surging,” she said.

That stopped when her parents passed. She said the thought of sewing made her sad. One day a church member encouraged her to get back on her Singer.

Teri Franklin launched a sewing business called Surgi-Kids surgicaps this month.
Teri Franklin launched a sewing business called Surgi-Kids surgicaps this month. (Source: WALB)

“I went and got my sewing machine out of storage and set it up and it was like something just changed for me. When I started sewing, I felt this calmness, I felt this peace, and it made me focus,” she said.

She launched Surgi-Kids Surgical Caps on Feb. 16, what would have been her parents’ 47th anniversary. She said the cartoons on the caps help take children’s minds off surgery.

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