In Memory of George S. Pellegrino
June 22, 1949—April 6, 2010
I first met George in 1994, when he became a patient at MyoRehab for a Motor Vehicle Accident he had one and one-half years previously. His truck had been T-boned and rolled several times, landing upside down with him hanging from the seatbelts. He was in a lot of pain and quite depressed.
After about 3 months of Manual Trigger Point Therapy (MTPT), his pain had significantly decreased and he no longer had acid reflux or an ulcer and could eat his beloved red pepper and chili. (Yes, MTPT of the abdominal muscles can rid you of acid reflux, abdominal distress, ulcers, etc.).
So, he wanted to know how was I able to help him with just my hands, when other therapies had failed. Within the next year, he became a Certified Manual Trigger Point Therapist. In 1997, we became partners in MyoRehab and for the next two years we learned to work together, kind of like a new marriage. We also spent many late nights and weekends developing the American Institute of Myofascial Studies, LLC (AIMS) and produced the MyoRehab Seminar Series.
Here was this Italian man and Irish/Scottish woman learning to work together, trust each other and respect each other’s expertise and strong points. It was a challenging two years, to say the least. But what developed was one the most wonderful partnerships a person could ask for.
As I began to realize I was dealing with a genius (of course, he downplayed it), I encouraged his many creative outlets. As an excellent photographer and designer, George created and designed all of MyoRehab’s and AIMS’s brochures, business cards, postcards, etc. We took a one-day Power Point seminar and developed MyoRehab Seminar Series – one seminar a month for ten months – culminating with a National Certification Exam in Manual Trigger Point Therapy.
George was one of the original computer geeks; sending away for all the parts and building his first computer all by himself. Consequently, he did all the pictures for the seminars, using a scanner and downloading from the internet. And of course, he kept both businesses’ computers up-to-date and running in top notch condition.
George had a scientific mind and did the technical research for MyoRehab and AIMS. He would be so excited to show me the latest scientific published article on trigger points, muscle, fascia, etc.—even reading them to me. When he was finished, I would say, “That’s nice. So how do I apply that clinically?” He would explain that he was collecting all of the pieces and would be able to answer my question when he had all the pieces put together.
I am happy to report that each year, we added more and more pieces to the Myofascial pain puzzle and George wrote an article in January, “Beyond The Point,” which will be published in the American Academy of Pain Management journal this spring. He was able to answer my question, “How do I apply that clinically?”, and now we have all the pieces—components—for successfully treating Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction.
I knew George for 16 years. He was my business partner and best friend for 13 years. He was a man of absolute integrity and honesty and I trusted him completely. He was the kindest, most generous and thoughtful man I have ever known. Of course, for those of you who knew him, he could be kind of stubborn also.
One of the most wonderful things George did for me was to treat me with respect and acknowledge my intelligence. He was so kind in helping me to understand and correctly pronounce words that I had difficulty with due to my dyslexia and hearing impairment. This was so important because we both loved teaching and wanted to make sure we were pronouncing all the medical words correctly for our students.
George and I motivated each other to be the best we could be on a daily basis. It has been the most stimulating and exciting 16 years of my life and I will miss my business partner and best friend very much.
Below are a few testimonials to George from his students, colleagues and friends.
“I will always remember George for his bold and quirky spirit, his brilliant and complex mind and most importantly, his kind and passionate soul. A man who wasn’t afraid to be himself and truly wanted to help people....a true Renaissance man. I think I can speak for most people who have known George when I say that I feel very fortunate to have experienced him as both a teacher and a human being. All I can say is that Heaven must have their hands full right about now!”
“I know how much George loves teaching because we talked about it at the last class. Because he has touched my life as a teacher and because I do the same for others, each time I teach a little bit of George will be passed along to each of my students. And, even though they do not know George and whether they know it or not, they will take a little bit of George with them in their practice as a physical therapist – whether it be as a clinician, teacher or some other aspect of physical therapy. This is the wonderful beauty of being a teacher!”