TYLER, TX (KLTV) -An East Texas Pastor is counting his blessings following a diagnosis of Malaria.
Samuel Priddy is the Senior Pastor at Lord’s House in Tyler .He recently contracted the disease during a mission trip in Africa.
GMET’S Brennon Gurley spoke to the pastor about how he never lost faith while battling the disease.
Pastor Priddy has dedicated his entire life to the church and to missionary work. “Jesus said go into all the world and preach the gospel, so the trip was amazing. I’d do it again even with this,” explains Priddy.
An overseas mission trip to Africa allowed Priddy to fulfill his mission work by visiting several villages and working to supply clean water , but it also left him with a potentially serious health risk.
“It was the day we got ready to leave that I had my first symptoms of body aches, fever that I realized something wasn’t right.
After being back in the states a couple weeks and still experiencing some symptoms, Samuel’s wife Amy suggested he seek medical attention. That is when doctors conducted tests to conclude that his symptoms tested positive for Malaria.
“In the moment, you are just knowing he is hurting, this is scary, and people have died from Malaria,” said Amy.
Miranda Pierce, Infection Prevention Manager, UT Health East Texas, says Malaria is caused by a parasite that infects a certain type of mosquito that feeds on humans. She adds about 1.700 cases of malaria are reported each year in the United States.
“It’s not contagious and that you can still be around this person and not have any risk of getting it with your common casual contact,” explains Pierce.
The scare was short lived since he took preventative medication prior to his trip and after a four-day hospital stay, however the Priddy family is leaning on their faith.
“It’s such a blessing when other people would come in and they would pray because you’re in it so you need the prayers of others to lift you up,” explains Amy. Priddy feels blessed to be alive and has a renewed outlook on life.
“Life is precious, but we’re not promised tomorrow. So, we must appreciate today, love the people that are in our life today. I now never leave my wife without saying I love you because we never know if it is the last time,” adds Pastor Priddy.
This morning, Pastor Priddy is back home recovering and eager to start preaching again on Sunday mornings.