Stories of Hope
Threads of Life provides an emotional safety net for people walking a tightrope of grief, anxiety and frustration following a fatality, serious injury or diagnosis of an occupational disease. Programs like our family forums and volunteer family guides are life-savers. Those who have experienced a workplace tragedy share their stories as a way of building safer workplaces, and letting others know they’re not alone.
Leo Pitruzzella was a family man through and through. A big strong man with a booming voice, he didn’t hesitate to push his daughter’s stroller to the park, or get on the floor to play cars with his son. But the family lost its cornerstone one day in 2009 when Leo...read more
Fabien Guindon died after the trench he was working in collapsed, completely engulfing him. When his wife Kim Labrecque arrived at the hospital and saw an ambulance full of mud, she knew instantly what had happened. As she learned more about how Fabien had died, Kim...read more
Nevin Di Julio is a go-to guy, but after a horrific workplace incident he suddenly went from caregiver to care recipient. While training as a fryer at a Nova Scotia potato processing plant, he sustained burns to 45% of his body. Within seconds, Nevin Di Julio went...read more
Heather Dahmer’s husband Jim was exposed to asbestos throughout his career: as a plumber, steamfitter and maintenance supervisor. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an incurable cancer, and died in 2011. After her years as Jim’s partner and caregiver, Heather was...read more
“My life was forever changed the morning of February 19, 2008,” says Tammy Lundgren-Costa. That was the day she was sexually assaulted at work. Then it got worse, as Tammy went on to experience severe PTSD and extreme agoraphobia. “Before I joined Threads of Life I...read more
“From the age of five,” says Donna Green, “I wanted to be a nurse.” The longer she worked as a nurse, the more she loved it. But what happens when you’re sidelined by injury? At 40, Donna learned to live with disability, grieve for the life that no longer existed, and...read more
When Bob Quarrell was a young father, the brakes on an underground mine elevator he was riding in failed, first dropping him 170 feet, then bouncing him three times like a yoyo. Bob sustained three fractured vertebrae in his lower spine, and even after multiple...read more
Six days into his job as an ironworker at a Northwest Territories diamond mine, 27-year-old Greg Wheeler’s work platform collapsed and he fell to the ground. He died instantly. At 20, Newfoundlander Greg Wheeler had found his calling as an ironworker. But seven years...read more
Every July 16, Elizabeth Stewart takes flowers to the grave of her daughter Terri-Lynn. “That was the day she was killed.” In summer 1993, Terri-Lynn was hit by a van while working as a flagger on road construction sites. When told what happened, says Elizabeth, “I...read more
Burton Reimer’s first day on a commercial fishing boat was also his last. The enterprising 17-year-old was saving up for a snowmobile, but 11 hours after setting out the boat sank. It had no lifesaving equipment. “Burton’s wages for that day would have been $85,” says...read more
“Blaine rolled his pump truck and it doesn’t look good,” said the voice on the phone. The next call confirmed Wendy-Ellen Nittel’s worst fears: her son Blaine had died at the scene. Wendy-Ellen now wears Blaine’s high school graduation ring to keep him close. It’s...read more
Threads of Life members share their story at your event or workplace through the Speakers Bureau.