I began working on Season 2 of Children’s Med Dallas about a month after the birth of my first child, a daughter named Emerson who’s usually called Emmy.
Emmy had already changed a lot in my life, namely my sleeping, eating, thinking, TV watching. Etcetera. (See the change represented in my face in this photo ——->)
But she hadn’t changed my work yet.
As a story producer on the show, my job is literally to produce stories. A lot of times that means talking with physicians about cases they’re working on, what they do away from the hospital and how we can film those things. That part didn’t change after Emmy was born.
Another part of story producing, though, is asking patients and their families about their stories. Emmy affected that substantially. Instead of approaching parents as a mere representative of Children’s, I had to approach them as a fellow parent.
Bluntly: That made my job painful, especially in the emergency department – a new area that we’re covering this season. Every baby that came in with breathing problems or seizures or worse made me imagine Emmy in their position. Then it would occur to me that their parents were actually dealing with the reality of having a baby needing rescue. And I would feel like a jerk for approaching them.
But, to my surprise, the parents usually got what the show is about in those moments better than I did. When I felt intrusive, they felt the poignancy of their situation and the expertise of the team caring for their child. More often than not, they responded to my request to film them by saying, “I want other parents to be aware” or “I want to help the hospital”.
We hope this season fulfills their hopes by raising awareness of both pediatric health/injury issues and the tremendous staff at Children’s who treat those issues. The first episode will air at 6:30 p.m. this Saturday, March 3, on WFAA Channel 8. And there will be six more 30-minute episodes following that premiere, each also airing at 6:30 p.m. on consecutive Saturdays on WFAA.
In addition to showing you our emergency department, we’ll show you what real-life brain surgeons do. And you’ll see how our caretakers handle some of the most critical and delicate patients in the neonatal ICU and the stem cell transplant unit like Sophia Tilley, a 14-year-old girl from Arkansas who needed new bone marrow to battle her leukemia.
The first episode will pick up where last season left off with the case of Rylynn Riojas, a 2-year-old girl who was in dire need of a heart transplant. You’ll see how Dr. Kristine Guleserian and the rest of the heart team continued to fight for Rylynn’s life when the odds of her receiving a transplant were minute. We’ll also reintroduce you to plastic surgeon Dr. Alex Kane later on this season as he works to create a nostril out of forehead skin for a teenage boy.
However, even though some of the same characters will be featured, this season will be different than the first – for me, at least.
I’ll be watching through a parent’s eyes for the first time.