A nurse became an authorized legal guardian for a desolate man with autism so he could get the heart transplant he urgently needed. Lori Wood decided to ‘adopt’ 27-year-old Jonathan Pickard only two days later meeting him so he would be suitable to receive a new heart.
Wood, a 57-year-old ICU nurse at Piedmont Newnan Hospital in Georgia, was appointed to Pinkard in December 2018. She explained Today Health: ‘Jonathan was very ill, but he wasn’t eligible for a transplant as he didn’t have a support system. One of the terms is that you have someone to care for you afterward.’ Pinkard had been in an out of the hospital since August but was usually discharged to a men’s shelter as he had nowhere to go.
His mom lived in a rehab center and his grandma, who was his legal guardian, died. Pinkard had been on his own after 2014.
Possible transplant patients are estimated to make sure they are responsible enough to protect their health after the procedure because there are so numerous people on the waiting list for organs. One element is a support system – including parents or carers as well as a place to stay – in place for later the procedure.
Wood, a single mom, decided she had to do something to support Pinkard. So, only two days after reaching her patient, she asked him if she could become his authorized guardian. She told The Washington Post: ‘For me, there was no alternative. I’m a nurse; I had an extra room. It was not something I coped with.
He had to come homeward with me.’ Wood helped Pinkard walk into her home in Hogansville, Georgia after he was released from the hospital. His only possession was his mobile phone and the clothes on his back.
The two quickly became close later they bonded over the TV game show ‘Family Feud’ and college football, despite rooting for opposing teams. On August 1, 2019, Pinkard underwent a successful 7-hour heart transplant. He has since been healing and is expected to return to the job soon. Wood has been supporting Pinkard by driving him to his doctor meetings, making sure he takes the 34 pills he is expected to take daily and ensuring he eats well.
She lawfully became Pinkard’s guardian in July, but they both told the ‘adoption’ began the day Wood took Pinkard home.