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RAPID CITY, SD, April 24, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Board-certified general surgeon Dr. Edward Picardi recently reflected on a medical missionary trip with Samaritan's Purse. On this repeat visit to Western Africa, he was again able to help some of the people in the poorest areas of the world as they attempt to get back to a level of normalcy post-COVID-19.
Picardi's medical career has taken him to several parts of the United States. He also dedicates his time and energy to missionary trips as a professional surgeon. On these missions, he is accompanied by his wife, and the two take pride in their religion as they spread the word of the Lord while providing medical care.
During his most recent trip, he battled hot and dry conditions with the rest of the team. Temperatures reached 110° at times, with limited options to stay cool compared to the United States. He worked as a general surgeon while lending a hand at a hospital in Togo that had opened seven years ago. He was responsible for everything from cancer surgeries to C-sections and helping with trauma.
At the end of his stay, he walked away, proud of his team's accomplishments at the Hospital of Hope. Issues remain in this part of the world, but having a hospital running like this not only serves Togo but also neighboring countries, like Burkina Faso, Benin, Ghana, and Niger.
"Our surgical outcomes were quite good, but sadly, infant mortality remains high due to a lack of prenatal care, infections, and mosquitos," Picardi said. "The people in the USA really do not understand how simple things like clean water can make such a difference to survival rates."
Helping others through medicine has played a role in Picardi's life since the beginning of his professional career. Dr. Picardi spent 13 years as a military surgeon, serving in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. A Wright State graduate, he's now back in Ohio attending to his private practice work. Whenever he has time, he and his registered nurse wife, Sandy, feel it's their duty to give something back.
"Each time I go on these volunteer medical missions, I always feel like I get back more than I give," Dr. Picardi said. "When we see the heartfelt smiles on so many of these patients, our efforts seem so worthwhile."
Picardi hopes that the impact made by his team in Togo will help the Hospital of Hope as it continues to grow into one of the top facilities in Western Africa. The hospital has now served over 100,000 patients, and learning from medical professionals from other parts of the world helps. People like Picardi and organizations like Samaritan's Purse are contributing with their volunteer work to building a better world with better-equipped hospitals.
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