3rd Hour of Today viewers got a special surprise on Friday: a check-in with Sheinelle Jones!
The co-anchor of the NBC morning show has been off the program for over a month now, after undergoing surgery to remove a polyp on her vocal cord that was harming her ability to speak. Recovery has meant total vocal rest, meaning Jones has had to remain totally silent.
She’s even kept her mouth shut on Instagram, letting her kids — son Kayin, 10, and twins Uche and Clara Josephine, 7 — do the talking for her.
All that changed on Friday, though. In a pre-recorded video, Jones spoke out for the first time since her surgery, telling viewers that she was feeling well and looking forward to coming back to work soon.
“Hi everybody, guess what? I’m doing just fine! I’m recovering. I’m doing better,” Jones said, later telling co-anchors Craig Melvin and Al Roker, “I miss you guys.”
“My hearts and my prayers are with all those who have been affected by this virus,” she added, of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. “It is a mess. But if anything, I just want to be there and be part of this conversation.”
Jones also explained that she’s now speaking in 30 minute intervals, taking the other half hour off.
“I am on my way to talking so much, you’ll just be tired of hearing me talking!” she joked. “Everything is okay.”
Being home has given Jones plenty of time with the kids, who also appeared alongside her in the video. “The kids are everywhere, as you can see,” she said. “You know what, I see the grace in that, that I’ve been able to have time with these kids!”
Jones had surgery on Feb. 24.
The day after the hour-long procedure, she recalled the experience on Instagram — revealing that she actually woke up from the surgery trying to talk.
“I just wanted you to know that I’m okay, and to thank you for all of your messages and prayers,” Jones wrote. “Apparently I emerged out of anesthesia ‘talking’ …. I was out of it… I just remember a male voice kindly but firmly telling me to ‘please stop talking.’☺️ At the time, I was trying to tell them that I was ‘awake’ and not to use the breathing tube yet lol — but clearly they were already finished.”
Soon after that, she said, she became overcome with emotion.
“Once I was alone in post recovery … I started crying through my oxygen mask… the nurse rushed over and gave me a pen to scribble what was the matter. Honestly, nothing was wrong — I think it was just a release … this has been a long time coming and I’ve struggled off and on for so long…. I also felt like I was wrapped in prayers …. it felt like such a powerful moment,” Jones added.
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Back in February, Jones told PEOPLE that she opted for the surgery after struggling with her voice for months.
“It’s to the point where people at home have no idea what I do just to get ready for a show in the morning,” she said. “When I get a call that I have to track a story early in the morning, I get up like 30 minutes early so I can do exercises on my throat just so that I don’t sound hoarse.”
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