The nurse adopts an autistic patient

ANHLori Wood, 57, volunteered to be the guardian of a 27-year-old patient, helping him get a heart transplant surgery on time.

Jonathan Pinkard has a high-functioning autism, fainting at work and was rushed to emergency at the Piedmont Health Care Center two years ago. He was prescribed a heart transplant surgery by the doctor, but he was not eligible for the surgery because he did not have a legal “guardian”. His mother had been treated in the re-education camp since he was young, he was raised by her grandmother. In 2012, Jonathan’s grandmother died, he had no other relatives.

Ms. Lori works at the Piedmont Newnan Hospital’s intensive care unit, Piedmont Health Care Center, as Jonathan’s primary nurse. Two days after learning of Jonathan’s circumstances, Lori signed up for adoption, becoming Jonathan’s legal guardian.

“It’s frustrating to see my patients unable to get what they need. I’m home, again a nurse, I can take care of him,” Ms. Lori said. “I definitely have to help him. Can’t wait any longer, without a heart transplant in time, Jonathan will die.”
Mike Roberston, director of the Piedmont Health Care Center, said he was surprised to learn that Lori had voluntarily adopted the patient, helping him to be listed on the waiting list for a heart transplant. “She changed a life, giving Jonathan a whole new life, motivating, love for the blouse workers like us,” Mike touched.

After more than half a year on his waiting list, Jonathan had a successful heart transplant surgery. He moved in with Mrs. Lori.

She persisted in helping Jonathan get used to his daily activities and support, helping him take 34 pills a day, taking him to the hospital for a follow-up visit. The two became close as mother and daughter, often watching movies and TV shows together. “We competed together to answer questions on TV, high-fived to celebrate if we gave the right answer,” Ms. Lori said. “Jonathan is a lovely guy”.

The 27-year-old plans to return to work in early December after a long vacation.

“She treats me like a boy. I’m very grateful,” Jonathan said in a video provided by the hospital. “I couldn’t have been without her.”

Ms. Lori was awarded the President’s Award in 2019 by Piedmont Newnan Hospital – one of the award categories recognizing the annual staff contribution of Piedmont Newnan Hospital.
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