This compassionate nurse is responsible for saving the life of a 27-year-old man with autism after she volunteered to become his legal guardian just two days after meeting him.
Lori Wood, who is an ICU nurse at Piedmont Newnan Hospital in Georgia, first met Jonathan Pinkard after she was assigned to his care back in December 2018.
Pinkard was in desperate need of a heart transplant—but since his grandmother passed away several years earlier and his mother was in rehab, he was ineligible for the transplant list.
This is because—with thousands of people waiting on transplant lists every year—doctors require organ recipients to have stable support systems so that patients are guaranteed to have someone to take care of them after an operation.
So for four months, Pinkard was in and out of the hospital without hope of receiving a heart. Not only that, he was often discharged to a men’s shelter because he had nowhere else to go.
Thankfully, his luck changed after he met Wood.
Pinkard and Wood quickly bonded over their love of football and Family Feud—and as the 57-year-old nurse became more and more familiar with her patient’s circumstances, she knew she had to help him.
Two days after meeting Pinkard, Wood offered to adopt him and become his legal guardian so he could be placed on the transplant list. Needless to say, he accepted.
Pinkard underwent a successful heart transplant back in August. Wood—who Pinkard affectionately calls “mama”—has been monitoring the young man’s various medications and caring for him after his operation. She has even been teaching him different life skills so he might one day live more independently.
When Piedmont Healthcare asked Wood about her decision to adopt Pinkard, she simply said: “When you’re a nurse and you’re wanting to fix and help people, that can be very frustrating. At some point, God places people in situations in your life, and you have the choice to do something about it. And I guess … for this situation there was no choice. It really wasn’t anything I struggled about. He had to come home with me.”
If you want to help finance Pinkard’s medical expenses and hospital transportation, you can donate to his GoFundMe campaign.
(WATCH the inspiring hospital video below)
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