Man holds Happy Birthday cake with young girl and boy

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 didn’t come home from work.

Leo was a labourer for a paving company. His wife Erin later learned he had been struck and dragged by a dump truck loaded with asphalt. Erin and her children struggled through the nightmarish months of questions and confusion leading up to a trial, and later an inquest.

“I thought that I had cried all the tears that I could possibly cry,” Erin says, “but a card in the mail, a phone call, a song on the radio, a birthday, an anniversary, a graduation or a celebration always brings back my confusion, my sadness, my anger, my helplessness and my hopelessness. Life seemed without meaning for my family.”

The family was coping, but when Erin found Threads of Life through her compensation board coordinator, she finally felt accepted and understood. She found hope. If you or a loved one have experienced a life-altering workplace injury or other workplace tragedy, learn how Threads of Life can help you.

Erin joined the Threads of Life speakers bureau as a way both to honour Leo’s memory, and to protect other families from having to live through the pain and grief she and her children have endured. Erin also shared her story here in the Spring 2018 newsletter. Erin and Leo’s daughter Marleen has also shared her story in “Turning ‘What If’ into ‘What Would'”.

You can help families like Erin’s, coping with the devastating impact of a life-altering workplace injury or other workplace tragedy. Here’s how:

Donate: your gift will directly support Canadian families affected by workplace fatalities, life-altering injuries and occupational disease
Designate: make Threads of Life your company’s Charity of Choice
Volunteer: help out with our annual Steps for Life walk – see
Spread the word: let those who need help know where to find it.

If you or a loved one have experienced an life-altering workplace injury or other workplace tragedy, read about how Threads of Life can help you.