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Nurse adopted a homeless man with autism so he can receive a life-saving heart transplant

An ICU nurse from Georgia adopted an autistic man so that he could receive a heart transplant to save his life.

An ICU nurse from Georgia adopted an autistic man so that he could receive a heart transplant to save his life.

It began in August 2018, when Jonathan Pinkard fell at work and was admitted to to Piedmont Newman Hospital. He found out that he would need a heart transplant or he was going to die however, there are so many people on waiting lists for donated organs. Due to this, patients are evaluated for whether they will be able to take care of themselves after the transplant surgery.

Nurse Lori Wood, who is 57 said, “Jonathan was very sick, but he wasn’t eligible for a transplant because he didn’t have a support system, one of the requirements is that you have someone to care for you afterwards.”

Patients must prove they have someone to help take care of them post-op. Pinkard was in an out of the hospital and had nowhere to go so he was being discharged to a men’s shelter and had no one to look after him. After knowing him for just two days, Lori Wood asked him if she could become his legal guardian so he would be eligible for a heart transplant.

“I had to help him. It was a no-brainer,” Wood explained. “He would have died without the transplant.”

Thanks to Lori’s selfless act, Pinkard had a successful heart transplant in August. She takes him back and forth to doctors visits and makes sure he sticks to his rigorous medication routine. Pinkard moved into Wood’s house and, although they were not much more than acquaintances, they soon bonded over football and “Family Feud.”

“Jonathan has his chair, and I have my chair,” Wood said. “We like game shows and high five back and forth if we get an answer right. He is very loving.”

“It’s been a joy having Jonathan here with us,” Wood said. “I knew this is what I was supposed to do.”

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