Nurse Adopts Man With Autism So He Can Get Life-Saving Transplant
A nurse with a heart and call to save became a hero to a 27-year-old man with autism. She saved the life of Jonathan Pinkard by volunteering to be his legal guardian just two days after meeting him.
Pinkard was a patient at Piedmont Newman hospital where Wood, a nurse, was assigned to care for him in December 2019. His stay at the hospital began when it was discovered he needed a heart transplant.
More sad news came when Pinkard was found illegible for a transplant. He needed a support system for post-transplant care which he didn’t have at the moment. Not meeting this condition restricted him from being put on the waiting list.
The post-operation care is necessary to ensure the patients remain healthy and in the case, there’s a prescription of anti-rejection medicine, they are diligent in taking it. The support system also checks if the recipients follow the doctor’s instructions and show up for appointments. All these measures according to the spokesperson of United Network for Organ Sharing ensure a patient doesn’t lose an organ.
Pinkard shared that he was raised by his grandmother who passed away in 2012. His mother was in rehab and therefore could not be there to care for him.
This was a tough time for Pinkard, in and out of the hospital as his hope for a transplant dwindled. In addition, he was to be discharged to a men’s shelter for he had nowhere else to go.
The tide for Pinkard changed positively when he met Lori. A compassionate nurse at Piedmont hospital who sought to help him. The fact that she had only met him two days earlier did not prevent this woman from lending a hand to a helpless man in need.
She said she did not struggle with the idea of taking him home and was willing to take care of him. She expressed her conviction in helping Pinkard saying “ At some point, God places people in situations in your life, and you have the choice to do something about it”
Wood, a mother of two, knowing nothing about Pinkard, had him moved to her home. The two created a bond watching family feud and sports.
Pinkard found his light in the dark tunnel and in August had a successful transplant. He moved in with Wood where he received the proper post-transplant care that he needed. Wood helped him take his 34 pills a day and made sure he never missed a doctor’s appointment. Furthermore, she took to teaching him how to live independently.
Piedmont hospital held a presidential awards ceremony to employees who go above and beyond for patients, visitors or co-workers. Lori Wood was the 2018-2019 winner for the award.
Pinkard explains how he was treated as a son and he is truly grateful for her care and affection. He attributes his new life to her.
Pinkard worked as an office clerk and hoped to get back to work by December the same year.
Among other things that Lori would miss about Pinkard is to see him waving at her as she pulled into the driveway.