Charlie Petrizzo was working a successful corporate job when he felt the need to do something more.
Despite his success, Charlie felt discontented with life in the financial world. His experiences had given him a perspective on money and materialism that didn’t fit his life’s calling.
When Charlie was a boy he almost died – twice. 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. With the help of the family’s Labrador Retriever Charlie was able to heal.
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.
Charlie Petrizzo recovered physically and emotionally. Although he asked “Why me?” more than once, eventually Charlie awakened to the miracle of his recovery.
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. Despite his success, Charlie felt discontented with life in the financial world. His experiences had given him a perspective on money and materialism that didn’t fit his life’s calling.
Being intimately aware of the healing power of animals, Charlie wanted to give back. He and Sandy simplified their lives, created Project 2 Heal and put themselves in a position to serve others with their passion.
Charlie's Scars Documentary
Charlie Petrizzo knows first-hand what can take place when special needs cross paths with a special breed of animal that is trained to heal. In 2012 a documentary film “Charlie’s Scars” was made about Charlie’s life and his effort to help others heal.
Charlie’s Scars, an Episode XI Studios film, is a 2012 documentary from director Randy Davis. It focuses on the life of Charlie Petrizzo and what led him to create Project 2 Heal. The emotional film is a story of strength, survival, healing, and love for others. It has also become well-known because it features an exclusive interview with Melinda Loveless, who was convicted of the nationally recognized murder of 12-year-old
In April of 2011 Charlie was seeking a way to generate revenue to fund Project2Heal that would not take too much time away from the work they were doing related to special needs children. He decided he could use the benefits of technology to raise revenue through the sale of dog training videos. His background included years of experience in dog training and higher education on the subject matter. In his search for a company to produce these videos he met Randy Davis and Beth Sowell, the principals of Episode XI studios.
In preparation for the work they would be doing Beth and Randy dug further into the story of Charlie’s life and why he started Project2Heal. As creative artists and story tellers both Beth and Randy saw much more than a need for a few dog training videos for people to appreciate Project 2 Heal and Charlie’s story. Beth and Randy were so moved by Charlie’s personal story that they asked him if they could do a documentary film about his life. Their goal for the film was to reach a mass audience. They were certain some who were facing their own challenges would be inspired by Charlie’s story.
More importantly though they wanted to get the story of Project 2 Heal out to people across the country so that Charlie and Sandy could find the funding for the facility they dreamed of building for special needs children and their families. Randy and Beth’s belief that Charlie’s story was inspirational enough to be worthy of their time and talent to make it into a movie was to Charlie, a sign that God indeed thought there was more he should and could be doing to help children with special needs. With the belief that God’s hand was in their meeting Charlie agreed to allow Episode XI studios to film the story of his life.
What happened along the way was a miracle. In November, the film, entitled Charlie’s Scars, played at the Asheville Film Festival. The film received glowing reviews from the jury panel and audience members alike. It was awarded the Jury Award for festival favorite documentary. Charlie’s amazing story of hope and healing continues to inspire.