Local News

Wake County teacher in critical condition after double transplant

Posted January 12, 2021 6:42 p.m. EST
Updated January 24, 2021 11:45 a.m. EST

Four major surgeries in two weeks.

Laurance Dean Nichols, a Wake County teacher, has been in and out of the hospital for over six years due to heart problems. His wife, Megan Nichols, says he was having major pains on New Year's Eve, and was rushed to the hospital, where he was told he would need a new heart.

Known as 'DJ' by his students, Nichols was teaching up until Christmas break. Megan Nichols says she and her husband have received so much love and support from family, friends and especially his students. Unfortunately, she says, he’s not out of the woods just yet.

"It’s traumatizing. It’s the hardest thing I’ve witnessed. I just want him to wake up, and I know that even when we get to [that] point, it’s still going to take a really long time because he’s been through so much," she said.

After his heart transplant, he was told he was having kidney complications. Nichols recently had a kidney transplant and is now in a medically-induced coma.

"It’s just the unknown," Laurence Nichols said. "There’s still constantly risks and everything is so new."

Megan Nichols says she’s had to leave work to take care of their 13-year-old daughter and has been staying in a hotel across from the hospital to be close to her husband at all times; a situation the pandemic has made much more frightening.

"It’s scary. I mean, we are in a pandemic, I’m in and out of the hospital, and we have a 13-year-old daughter, who I’m still trying to maintain every day and make sure she still doing her schoolwork," Megan Nichols said.

Despite all of the hospital’s protocols, she still fears about her husband’s exposure to COVID-19. It's a thought that’s always in the back of her mind.

"I’m really concerned about it," Megan Nichols said. "I actually went today just to get a test because I’m in and out of the room with him, and we are in a pandemic, and he’s very sick, and that’s the last thing that he would need."

Megan Nichols says doctors tell her it's a long journey ahead and they feel confident, but they do say her husband is very sick, and right now, it's just a minute-by-minute situation. The family has set up a GoFundMe page for anyone who would like to help.

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