- A homeless man, Jonathan Pinkard, needed a heart transplant but was not eligible due to lack of a support network
- Nurse Lori Wood legally adopted him and took him under her wing to make sure he got the transplant
- The selfless act has given Jonathan Pinkard a new lease on life and restored our faith in humanity
Jonathan Pinkard was in need of a heart and Lori Wood opened hers and helped him get a new one. Pinkard was homeless which disqualified him from receiving a heart transplant because he did not have anyone to care for him.
Briefly.co.za learned that Pinkard lives in Warm Springs, Gerogia, USA, and works as an office clerk and he has autism.
"It was a pretty scary situation to be in," said Pinkard, 27, "I had no idea what I was going to do."
In December a miracle happened, he was assigned a nurse - Lori Wood (57) and after two days of looking after him, she knew what she needed to do.
She essentially adopted him and said that he could move in with her and she would guarantee that he would get the necessary care according to iol.co.za.
"I couldn't believe that somebody who had known me only two days would do this," he said. "It was almost like a dream."
Wood had worked a nurse for 35 years and had never blurred the lines between her private and professional life but she could not stand by and let Pinkard die.
Pinkard was alone in the world, without family to care for him he would have been denied a new heart. Wood literally saved his life.
"That can be very frustrating if you know a patient needs something, and for whatever reason they can't have it," she said. "It gnaws at you."
When Pinkard was well enough to leave the hospital after the transplant, Wood kept her word and loaded him into her car and drove him to her farmhouse in Hogansville, an hour south of Atlanta.
She lives there with one of her three grown sons, Austin Wood. Her hospitality extended even further and she bought him a new bedroom set and told him to make himself at home and this was his room from now on.
"From the day I went home with her, she felt like my second mom," Pinkard gushed.
Wood makes sure he takes his pills and sees his doctor regularly and tries her best to make sure he eats healthily.
"I'm teaching him how to cook healthy meals, with a goal of him becoming more independent," Wood said. "Jonathan wants a girlfriend; he wants to get a car. He's welcome to stay here as long as he wants to, but I also know that he deserves to have his own life. So at some point, when he's ready, we're going to try to make that happen."
Pinkard is delighted with how his life has changed.
"I feel like I'm one of her sons," he said. "All I can say is, 'Thank you, Mama Lori. Thank you. I love you.' "
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