SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - In some developing countries, it is close to impossible for people to afford a prosthetic limb if they need one.
David Puckett keeps track of people by their parts.
“Gladys is a below the knee amputee, both sides, lost her arm,” said David Puckett, founder of PIPO Missions Inc.
The parts he provides to make them whole again.
“We can re-use a foot. This is a good foot, we can use this foot for somebody else,” he said.
Puckett operates Positive Image, a Savannah prosthetics company. But he puts his heart into PIPO Missions, the non-profit organization he started 20 years ago to deliver arms, legs, feet and mostly hope to some of the poorest people in poor counties.
“Our goal is to care for those who otherwise could not get the care. Down there, they all fall through the holes and cracks. If they don’t have the funds, they have no chance. So. we’re blessed to be able to give them that second chance, a second chance at life,” he said.
Next week, Puckett will make his 118th trip to Guatemala, Colombia or Mexico and deliver nine new limbs. But he is less moved by the numbers that keep rising for his mission than the lives it keeps changing.
“This little girl Melissa, for whom we’re making these two prostheses, Melissa never had prosthetic legs, much less shoes. She never had feet. So we’re going to be bringing her some beautiful princess tennis shoes,” he said.
Years ago, he gave two legs to a young man named Caesar, who has gone on to raise and provide for a family.
“Now he’s a functioning member of society, where before he was crawling around in the dirt, literally. Literally,” he said.
Puckett will travel to Mexico next week to deliver prosthetics and other supplies his children are donating and to watch as more people take a new step in life.
“They’ll literally come wheeling in and we video them walking out. We’re able to restore hope and blessing to many who otherwise would never have received nada, nothing to be able to stretch out our arm in Jesus’ name and be able to bless these folks in these developing countries with, what, a little bit of care makes a huge difference in their lives. And it changes me. Each time, I come back blessed, probably as much as they are,” he said.
Puckett was delivering prosthetics to developing countries for 10 years before he started his mission. Every time he goes somewhere, he says he brings along clothing, blankets, toys and other supplies in order to help entire communities.