Professional photos © Kelly Patterson
7 Lessons for Healing the Hurt
Charlie Petrizzo, founder of Project 2 Heal, shares his story of facing death twice, what he learned personally, spiritually and professionally along the way and how it led him to find his true passion of serving others through his love of Labrador Retrievers. In this book, discover how the true happiness Charlie found can be yours too.
Charlie Petrizzo should have died twice. Instead, he healed.
At life’s tough crossroads, Charlie Petrizzo discovered the intersection of puppies, children, and purpose.
By the time he was 16 years old, Charlie had run into the kind of roadblocks that would make it easy to give up or grow bitter. Twice he had faced down death, each time paying a steep price: disfiguring scars, physical limitations and chronic pain.
Charlie Petrizzo was hit by a car when he was five years old. People who saw it said he flew through the air like a rag doll. The accident resulted in a massive brain trauma, a comatose child and the challenges of recovering from paralysis. The doctors told his parents their child might not ever walk again.
The Petrizzo’s took their son home to take care of him. To keep Charlie from being so lonely, his parents brought home a puppy. That puppy became Charlie’s best friend. Charlie Petrizzo started to recover.
When he was 16, life threw up another roadblock.Working at a summer job, Charlie Petrizzo moved an extension ladder and struck a live electrical wire. Knocked to the ground, ladder seared into his left side, Charlie again spent months recovering – this time from third-degree burns, a process that meets every definition of hell.
In addition, damaged muscles in his left torso had to be removed, leaving extensive scar tissue and undermining the stability of the infrastructure that supported Charlie’s body. Chronic pain that continues to this day resulted as muscle and bone on the right side of his body over-compensate for the loss on his left side.
If anything is more resilient than the human body, it must be the human spirit.
Charlie Petrizzo recovered physically and emotionally. Although he asked “Why me?” more than once, eventually Charlie awakened to the miracle of his recovery. He chose to live in gratitude instead of bitterness or self-pity. He saw himself as a lucky man, a blessed man.
After college, Charlie married the love of his life, Sandy, a woman who loved him exactly the way he was. He launched a financial career during the boom years of the American economy and moved to the Wall Street of the South, Charlotte, NC. Together, he and Sandy adopted two little girls and created Project 2 Heal.
He intimately understands the healing power of a labrador and now he can give back. He’s simplified his life and put himself in a position to serve others with his passion.
Charlie Petrizzo lives to share his message with others. He often takes part in speaking engagements and visits schools and hospitals. If you are interested in having Charlie speak for your organization contact him at Charlie@project2heal.org