Nurse Adopted a Man With Autism She Only Knew for 2 Days to Help Him Get a New Heart
Nurses are naturally known to be good caregivers, but what nurse Lori Wood did as a sign of compassion to help a complete stranger whom she’d only known for 2 days, redefines the meaning of the term caretaker.
We at Bright Side were thrilled to find out that there are people out there who still do amazing acts of kindness that truly boost our faith in humanity, and we couldn’t wait to share this uplifting story with you.
Lori Wood met Jonathan Pinkard in the emergency room at the Piedmont Newnan Hospital in December 2018, when doctors found that he was in dire need of a heart transplant. But the problem was that the 27-year-old wasn’t eligible for a transplant, because he didn’t have a family support system in place for post-op recovery which was one of the main requirements for an organ transplant.
In a video for the hospital’s Facebook page, Pinkard talked about his emotional situation saying, “I was born and raised by my grandmother, and she passed away in 2012. My mother is in a rehab facility and she can’t do much.” Even though he is autistic, Pinkard had been on his own since 2014, but this was one obstacle he couldn’t overcome by himself.
The cruel reality is that almost 114,000 people in the US are currently on the waiting list for a life-saving organ transplant. And the candidates are evaluated to make sure they are capable of taking care of their own health after the procedure. One requirement is a family support system, and that’s exactly the thing that Pinkard didn’t have.
Nurse Wood was assigned to take care of Pinkard while he was in the hospital, and once she found out the troubles he was facing, she was determined to help him. Right when all hope seemed lost for Pinkard, Lori did something amazing that changed his life. Just 2 days after she met him, Lori asked Pinkard if she could become his legal guardian to help him become eligible for a transplant.
Even though Jonathan has lived with Lori since December 2018, Lori Wood legally became Pinkard’s guardian in July 2019. And soon enough, On August 1, 2019, Pinkard underwent a successful 7-hour-long heart transplant, where he received his new heart.
Pinkard has since been recovering in Wood’s home and is expected to return to work soon. Nurse Wood continues to be Pinkard’s hero, as she drives him to his doctor appointments, makes sure he takes all of his 34 pills on a daily basis, and also teaches him how to cook healthy meals.
Nurse Wood’s selfless efforts did not go unnoticed, as she was nominated and won the hospital’s 360° President’s Award which recognizes deserving employees who exert tremendous efforts and go above and beyond for their patients.
CEO of Piedmont Newnan hospital, Mike Robertson, said that he was startled when he first found out about Lori’s story. “Most caregivers have big hearts, but I have not seen any like Lori. Besides needing the heart, he needed caregivers, he needed that support,” said Robertson.
It’s stories like this one that truly restore our faith in humanity and show us that acts of kindness can make a real difference in the world — even giving someone the gift of life.
What do you think about the family support system that prevents people from getting life-saving operations? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section.