Caregivers Community

“Some Good News” and Other Messages of Hope We Need to Celebrate

Jamie Sumner
Special needs mom, author and blogger
05/13/20  2:30 PM PST

Have you been watching the “Some Good News” videos that John Krasinski has been putting out on YouTube? If not, you should. Start at the beginning and let yourself laugh and cry. It’s like a mini emotional roller coaster, “This is Us”-style.

If you’re like me, you have plenty of time and also none for such things. The days are long and free-formed like the lava lamps of old. It’s 8 a.m. and then it’s 8:13 a.m. and then it’s one in the afternoon, but you still aren’t out of your pajamas and your kids are eating what could be lunch or brunch or their twenty-third snack of the day. It all blends together.

I had been avoiding the news. It’s hard to watch – potential chaos around every corner. John Krasinski’s news, however, I can handle. Perhaps because it shows the heart behind the people who are working to make this pandemic not only survivable, but also a little sweeter. Recently, he featured COVID-19 treatment teams all over the world. He showed a conga line of medical professionals celebrating the release of patients who are now free of the virus. I cheered out loud when a 104-year-old man in Oregon was released from the hospital after being successfully treated. When asked how he managed to survive, he said, “It just went away. Sit out here and you can get rid of anything.” I guess if you live to be that age, life gets a lot simpler. You celebrate the big wins and you weather the losses.

When my son was born prematurely with a rare syndrome, we did not know how long we would be in the NICU. It was our entire world. We slept and ate and breathed on the cycle of shift rotations. I knew which nurse’s station had the good snacks. I knew which residents to avoid and when a baby graduated and a new name appeared in bubble letters on the window of a tiny room. I stopped having to ask a nurse to explain the heart rates and oxygen stats. It became our new normal.

And then, at ten weeks, the doctors performed a tracheotomy on my son, opening up a viable airway for the first time. He stabilized. He no longer relied on ventilators or nasal trumpets or occasional blow-by oxygen. He was doing it on his own. It was a miracle. And two weeks later we were on our way home. Suddenly, our hospital quarantine, which had felt endless, was over.

It was a beautiful spring day in May when we were officially discharged. The trees had bloomed while we were inside under the fluorescent lights. As we packed up his belongings – trach equipment, extra preemie diapers, wipes, blankets knit by volunteers, a giant green frog from the gift shop – all I could think about was home and the nursery he had never seen. I hadn’t thought about the actual moment of leaving. But one doctor had the foresight to anticipate the momentousness of this graduation. He rounded up all the nurses and residents and any staff he could find. As we traveled through the maze of hallways towards the exit sign, applause broke out all around us. They were cheering for us because we had done it – we were survivors.

Once we loaded a three-month-old Charlie safely into the car for the first time, I turned and waved goodbye to all the men and women who had worked tirelessly to save his life. We had a long road ahead of us, but this part was equally important. We needed to stop and see how far we’d come and let that sink in.

This is what I think of as I watch John Krasinski’s “Some Good News”. It will never stop being important to celebrate each moment of recovery we experience during this pandemic. We must celebrate the medical heroes and the survivors and the parents getting work done in their pajamas and the kids successfully Zooming with their teachers and then…the first time we get to sit in a restaurant across from a loved one and take our children to the public park and attend a concert and find toilet paper in stock at the grocery store. When the good news starts rolling in, and it will, we owe it to ourselves to stop and commemorate it.

special needs parents

Jamie Sumner is a special needs mom, author and blogger.

Discover her new book, Unbound: Finding Freedom from Unrealistic Expectations of Motherhood.

Read her blog, The Mom Gene.

Follow her on Facebook.


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