Where medicine meets love: The power of positivity
January 17, 2017
By: Rachael Devaney
Every morning, thousands of Cape Codders turn to Jonathan Thompson’s Facebook videos, looking for his messages of love, kindness and inspiration.
The videos, which typically begin with a “good morning” message at 5:30 a.m. as Thompson makes his way to work as a nurses aid at Cape Cod Hospital, are a product of Thompson’s community-based business, JT’s Chronicles.
The many videos have featured local residents like “Bob,” his shuttle bus driver, but also well-known public figures like Michael Lauf, president and chief executive officer of Cape Cod Healthcare; and Maria Stephanos of WCVB Channel 5 News. He says the videos are his way of bringing the feeling of “one love, one family, and one community” to people across the Cape region.
“Through these videos I encourage people to drop their stress, and focus on and be thankful for the beautiful things they have in their life,” Thompson said. “I carry so much love in my heart and I want to spread it around and make people feel better about themselves.”
While the videos (as well as Thompson’s upbeat and comical personality), have attracted more than 36,000 followers, the daily messages have also become a springboard for both social and business ventures. Not only has Thompson been instrumentally involved in organizations like Cape Cod Flag Football, and Cape Cod Warriors AAU Basketball, along with founder (and Thompson’s best friend) Tim Lus, he has also had the opportunity to host major local events like People of Action’s “Unity Day,” and the “Sass on Main Fashion Show.”
In addition, Thompson was also recently captured on news stations across the region as he stepped forward to co-coordinate a vigil on the Hyannis Village Green, where thousands poured in from all over New England to mourn four local young men who died in a fatal car crash on Interstate 495 in Middleborough.
While more community members are catching on to Thompson’s success, his ability to nurture and spread positivity is nothing new – and has actually been an important aspect of his job at Cape Cod Hospital since 1993, he explained. Although there are often intense and serious situations going on around him during his work days, he said it’s often his attitude that can make a big difference in a patient’s life.
“Usually they are by themselves – many of them facing heart surgery that day – and they are nervous and need a helping hand,” Thompson said. “After giving them a laugh and a smile I can instantly see them begin to get comfortable and relax.”
Besides providing basic care to patients, as well as assisting with daily activities they may have trouble with on their own, another part of Thompson’s job is reassuring patients that the doctors, surgeons and nurses want to give them the best care possible. This confidence, Thompson said, is often very important to patients who are vacationing in the area and may not have family and friends by their side.
“We honestly have some of the best people in the world working at our hospital and everyone is on top of their game,” Thompson said. “That’s especially important for those that aren’t from here and don’t have anyone. They want to know we care.”
And while each person that comes in contact with Thompson feels the love – and often catches a full-on belly laugh after one of his stories or good humored jokes – he said it’s his elderly patients that he ends up spending the most time with. By holding their hand and listening to their stories, their experience at the hospital is that much better, he said.
“I could be learning about Mrs. Johnson’s cats, or how she met her husband back in 1935, or how she can make bread pudding with only two ingredients,” Thompson said. “And that’s all they really want – just someone who will listen and treat them with love and respect.”
For Thompson, in addition to his family and his two kids, it’s JT’s Chronicles and his career at Cape Cod Hospital that keep him going. While he initially began working for the hospital because he was a single dad and needed a job that offered health insurance and security, he said it has blossomed into an opportunity to learn more about medicine, but also the power of love and positivity.
“This job hasn’t only enabled me to take care of my kids and my responsibilities, it has also taught me that I want to be there to help those that really are in the most need,” Thompson said. “I found out that I really love my job and that I honestly don’t ever want to leave the hospital.”
And with many more endeavors on his agenda, including a JT’s Chronicles-sponsored career day set for this spring, Thompson said it’s become his mission in life to not only make people happy, but to also remind them that their destiny is dictated by their everyday choices.
“If you are continuously waking up with a negative attitude and wondering why great things aren’t happening for you, take a minute and a deep breath and think about the great things in life,” he said. “Tell someone you love them, call a friend and just talk, or smile at a stranger. The chance to embrace positivity comes with every beat of your heart – listen to it and ride the rhythm.”