The wife of a Transportation Security Administration worker who died from COVID-19 complications is speaking out for the first time.
Gerald “Teddy” Girard, 67, died last week. Terra Girard, his wife of 41 years, said it was the beginning of the month when she says she didn’t feel well. Two days later, Teddy was in worse shape, CBS Minnesota reports.
“It was a total of nine days from the bad symptoms started happening. It was nine days ’til he died,” said Terra.
Born with one kidney, her husband had diabetes and high blood pressure. Terra says both were in check as he had lost weight. But he had insisted on still working the job he had for 13 years as a security and baggage screener at MSP Airport.
“The problem with TSA is you can’t socially distance,” she said.
Terra can’t say for sure how their household was infected. He tested positive for COVID-19 as soon he arrived at the hospital and for days, Terra was kept away, only allowed in for a few hours for a final goodbye.
“I just wanted to go in and hold his hand. I couldn’t even do that,” Terra said.
She is tired of how political the pandemic has become, and the lack of masks she sees being worn. Terra hopes the story of a husband, father, and grandfather serves as a reminder of just what real could mean.
“We were supposed to get old together. We were supposed to have a 50th wedding anniversary, and we’re supposed to be one of those cute, little old couples that still hold hands and walk around the street,” Terra said. “People have to take this seriously.”
Teddy Girard is the second TSA official to die from COVID-19 complications. Last month, the agency announced a 55-year-old air marshal also died. In all, 19 TSA workers at MSP have contracted the virus. Eighteen worked as screeners.