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‘A true health care hero’: Family of Desert Regional nurse killed by Covid-19 speaks out

Health care workers across the nation and here at home are dealing with the weight of the pandemic, with coronavirus cases and hospitalizations surging. Many of them are putting their lives on the line caring for the sick.

A valley health care hero is being remembered for his service on the frontlines of the pandemic.

Tom Picchi, 71, was a nurse at Desert Regional Medical Center. He passed away from Covid-19 last week.

His daughter Amanda and her partner Kyle Murray remember him as an inspiration.

"He was just trying to help others which really makes him a true health care hero," Kyle Murray said.

"He was my hero," Picchi said.

Tom Picchi and his daughter Amanda

Despite being high risk at 71 years old, his family said Picchi was selflessly at the hospital day in and out, trying to save as many lives as he could.

"He just felt like if he has the skills and ability – he’s a healthy guy, he should be helping," Amanda Picchi said.

"He was picking up shifts to help out his hospital that's been completely overrun with Covid," Murray said.

First came the mild symptoms, then they said Picchi's body started shutting down.

"He was feeling like he had a head cold he was very tired," Amanda Picchi said.

"He was dealing with Covid patients every single day and being in that environment, you’re highly susceptible to catching Covid," Murray said.

Erin Teran worked side-by-side with Picchi in the same nursing unit at Desert Regional. "That's why we became nurses is to take care of others and, like Tom, he put his life on the line," she said.

His family said too many people in the pandemic think this won't happen to them. "And then when it does happen to your family member, the last thing you want to do is regret: 'I wish I'd have done something different, I wish I would have listened to the experts.' You don't want to do that," Murray said.

A GoFundMe page was set up to help cover the funeral and other expenses. If you'd like to help, click here.

Coronavirus / News Headlines

Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.


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