‘Good Night Lights’ goes citywide to salute hospital workers, patients

Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Communities across Southern New England have held parades and salutes for healthcare workers.

Wednesday night in Providence, a citywide celebration of “Good Night Lights” was held.

The nightly tradition in the capital city was started as a way to say goodnight to the patients at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

“There’s never been a more isolating moment in time for people in the hospital. This whole thing is about isolation, and Good Night Lights is about connection,” said Steve Brosnihan, the mastermind behind the Good Night Lights tradition. 

Brosnihan said the city of Providence contacted him last week about taking his initiative citywide — all in an effort to recognize the patients currently battling COVID-19.

“It gives them a little sense of hope that the community is in this with them,” said Ashley McAuslin, a nurse at The Miriam Hospital. “Even though they are in the hospital alone without visitors, they can hear that the community is supporting them and rooting for them.”

The enhanced display, which included the Providence Police and Fire Departments, East Providence Police from across Narragansett Bay, and members of the community, was also done to thank the healthcare workers bravely fighting on the frontlines of the pandemic.

“It gives us a moment to step out of reality and see the positive light through all of this. It’s nice to see that we’re in this fight together as a community,” Ashley Giarrusso, a nurse at The Miriam Hospital said.

Giarrusso and McAuslin both work in the emergency department at Miriam, which was the last stop of Wednesday’s display.

Both nurses said each day has grown busier, as sicker patients have started to come into the hospital. They agreed that teamwork is what keeps them motivated. 

“I feel like this virus has drawn everyone together – floor nurses in the ER and EMS. Everybody is trying to do the best for everyone,” McAuslin said.

Speaking to the community, Giarrusso said, “Thank you for all the support. Thank you for all the kind words. But also, thank you for trying to help us fight this fight by staying home and doing what you can, so we can get our numbers down and get back to some normalcy.”

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