(DOUG JESSOPJESSOP’S JOURNAL) Imagine, if you will…Heaven forbid – your kid is sick. Really sick. Where do you go? This week’s episode of Jessop’s Journal focuses on a group of people that have been serving families in some of their most vulnerable times. Primary Children’s Hospital is celebrating 100 years of providing healthcare to the most precious of people – children.

It’s my honor to share powerful, positive and inspirational stories and music every week on TV and streaming worldwide. Hit the play button to watch the full 30-minute episode of this week’s Jessop’s Journal that will aired Sunday morning at 10 on ABC4 TV.

Watch the full 30-minute episode of Jessop’s Journal “The Children – First & Always” that aired Sunday morning at 10 on ABC4 TV. Jessop’s Journal is a collection of “Powerful, Positive & Inspirational Stories & Music” that airs on ABC4 Utah and worldwide at JessopsJournal.com

Today we are focusing on a theme of “the children, first and always” …here’s a quick preview of what we have in store for you in this episode of Jessop’s Journal

Did you know that there is children’s hospital that is celebrating 100 years of service?! Katy Welkie is Registered Nurse as well as the CEO of Primary Children’s Hospital – Happy Birthday! To the hospital, not Katy.

Music Therapy is a big deal at Primary Children’s hospital. We share Gerold’s story plus Eliana Rivera and Mackenzie Mondek entertains us.

Children want to be loved for who they are including their differences but more of their similarities – we visit with twin brothers Arthur and Ben.

Sometimes we forget all the things we have to be thankful for. I’m thankful for the “Thankful Stories.”

Knowledge is power. Dr. Per Gesteland has designed something called Germwatch to let people know “what’s going around” when it comes to infectious diseases.

Objects with Stories are Treasures Remembered. Janet DeWolfe shares artifacts from a worldwide program where children donated their shiny pennies to help other children.

Let’s start off the birthday celebration it off with a doctor that is healing hearts…for real. Dr. Robert Gray…


Over the years I’ve been able to do stories on ordinary people doing extraordinary things – these stories deserved to be seen again so I’m opening the vault for what I call “The Caring Stories”

Gerold had dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart that decreased the blood flow in his body. His Mom, Amanda, explains. “It was irreversible. It was getting worse. He ended up on what’s called a Berlin Heart that’s an external heart pumping his blood for him. He was on that for 7 months, which is the longest they’ve ever had somebody on it at Primary’s.”

Gerold got a heart transplant at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah in March. He’s still at the hospital recovering. I got to meet him at the music therapy room.

It is clear that 3-year-old Gerold loves the music therapy room and the people that run it. He gave me “knuckles” and then brought me over to a set of bins to get fruit shaped shakers. He got a banana and gave me an apple. Music therapist Spencer went to work. The next thing I know we are all singing “apples and bananas” together.

Gerold and his family have been through a lot. I was impressed with how happy he was. Amanda told me; “Music makes him happier than anything else. If there is a song playing, he’s dancing. Even when he was in the ICU, very sedated right after his transplant, we put on the troll’s movie, and there is one little clip that come on. He’s half asleep and he couldn’t stop himself from doing a little shimmy in his bed. If it’s on, he is dancing, and he is happy about it.

What is music therapy? I asked Spencer Hardy, a music therapist at Primary Children’s Hospital. He said, “It’s really rooted in addressing the needs of an individual through music, it’s as simple as that. Anything from helping a kid in the hospital having a problem falling asleep. or it could be writing as song with a teenager to help them process a new diagnosis.”

What gives Spencer hope? His answer is inspiring. “Of being able to look at a really challenging situation and still be able to find hope, to be able to find beauty and be able to create joy. I think those are the things we try to do in a children’s hospital. It can be really challenging, but it can be really rewarding too. I always say it is an honor to get to work with these families, because it truly is.”

These stories deserve to be told. These are The Caring Stories. I’m Doug Jessop


Meet twin brothers Arthur and Ben Hamilton. They are active 2-years-olds. Arthur happens to have Spina Bifida.

Dr. Betsy Ostrander with University of Utah Health and Primary Children’s Hospital explained this birth defect to me; “Spina bifida is a congenital disorder, so babies are born with spina bifida. The congenital disorder is of the spine. When the spine formed, part of the spinal cord and the tissues overlying the spinal cord emerged through the back.”

I was extremely impressed to learn that the hospital has a team approach for helping families dealing with Spina Bifida. Paula Peterson in a Nurse Practitioner. She told me that there are 12 different specialists for every child in their program. “Our focus is not to just focus on the medical issues, but we want to help families meet the challenge of helping their children be independent and love life and function in the community at every major stage of development.”

What can the community do to help families like the Hamilton’s? Arthur’s Mom Jenny said, “Sometimes we are at places and a child will say to their parent and ask why he is in a chair and other parents will just shush their child. I’d much rather have them come up to me or my child and say tell me a little more about what this chair does for you or what you need.”

It was a lot of fun to see Ben and Arthur play as I visited with their mom. As they were coloring, I took the opportunity to draw outlines of their hands onto papers. They apparently liked that because they had me do it quite a few times. Their smiles were infectious…the good kind!

What’s something that Jenny wants people to know about her twin boys? She got emotional and answered, “I think that kids just want to be kids. They want to play and be accepted and loved for who they are. Including their differences. But more of their similarities. Arthur likes to do so much like any other 2-year-old, and it always warms my heart when people realize that.”

It was time for the Hamilton’s to go home. Arthur wasn’t thrilled about having his mother fasten the buckle on his chair. He pointed to me. Jenny asked him; “You want Doug to do it?” Arthur answered, “Yeah.” I helped him and we high fived. It made my day.


Life is never boring – don’t forget to take some time to think about what you are thankful for… right here…right now?

What are you thankful for? ThanfulStories.com


Consider this your personal invitation to watch this entire episode of Jessop’s Journal and share it with someone that enjoys powerful, positive and inspirational stories and music. Jessop’s Journal airs Sunday mornings at 10 on ABC4 TV and you can watch on-demand at JessopsJournal.com.

Everyone has a story. I strongly feel that “stories have power”. Chances are that if you are going through something, that someone else probably has as well. The shared experiences we humans have can help each other. That my friend makes the point that stories “help us understand each other.”

You don’t have to agree with everyone, but in my opinion, if people would take more time getting to knowing more about others and where they are coming from, we just might find out that we have more similarities than differences.

Jessop’s Journal is something special when it comes to broadcast news. I have the honor of being able to do longer in-depth interviews that you don’t normally see with people from all walks of life. A big shout out goes to my collaborator, Ed Wilets, who does a great job as my videographer/editor for all my stories.

Everyone has a Story. Stories have Power. They help us Understand each other. With another entry into Jessop’s Journal I’m Doug Jessop

Jessop’s Journal is a collection of Powerful, Positive and Inspirational Stories made possible by the generous support of Tatt2Away, XLEAR, Millcreek Gardens and LIFE Never Boring.

Doug Jessop
For Doug Jessop, it all started with a cassette recorder he got for Christmas when he was 12 years old growing up in Southern California. Doug interviewed relatives, friends and anyone else that might have a good story. You can follow Doug at www.DougJessop.com, on YouTube.com/DougJessop, and @DougJessopNews on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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