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The Accident / El accidente

The Accident Book Cover

A toddler’s life is changed by physical and emotional scars after an accident. Gayle shares the obstacles she faced and overcame and hopes others learn from and are comforted by her extraordinary path to personal and professional success.

Available in Paperback, Ebook and NOW AUDIBLE

Read a FREE excerpt (requires Adobe Reader)

The Accident captures the sweet, playful and giggly personality of Gayle as a near 3 year old. She’s off with her mom to a grown-up tea party. Her life is suddenly changed by the physical and emotional scars left after a terrible accident.

Gayle becomes fearful of everyone and many things following her accident. She shares her compelling story of the challenges she faced with great courage. And, as a now confident woman, she wants others going through a trauma to learn and be comforted by her own extraordinary path to personal and professional success and to know they are not alone.


The Accident was created at the urging of a friend whose daughter was born with a blood cancer. They wrote a book - Pokes, Pinches and Loose Wires - to support parents, teachers, clinical staff and childhood patients. Kathy Bell, Founder of John P Bell Family Foundation, heard me speak very briefly about my accident at a fundraising event and encouraged me to write a book about it. What was interesting to me, until that moment, I had never told my story, and later heard from members of the audience how it touched their hearts.

El accidente by Gayle Petrillo

Listen to Gayle read excerpts from chapters

Chapter 4
Chapter 6
Chapter 8
Chapter 9

Tidbit from Chapter 6 - Phobias

Tidbit del Capítulo 6 - Fobias


“I read the book as soon as it arrived and loved it. There are tears and most of all joy for the fighter you are. I laughed and saw myself with the phobias too. You definitely have decided that in life there are no problems, only solutions!  

- Susan F.

“The Accident is a beautiful example of how to find healing through telling our stories, even the painful ones. For readers who feel alone with their secrets, this is a powerful reminder that you don’t have to carry your pain in silence.” 

- Morgan L.

“The Accident by Gayle Fein Petrillo is an important story to tell, and intriguing from the start as told in a flashback. It’s a compelling story with subject matter perfect for older kids; i.e. embarrassment, lack of trust, etc. And its imagery… I could smell the warm cookies!”

- Marge P.

“It is the kind of message that kids of all ages need to hear, as readers at any age love a personal connection to their lives. This type f book could be one that might be used in therapy sessions, school settings by nurses, social workers, and teachers. In particular, it could be used to build materials for a theme-based unit, as a Touchstone Book.”

- Betsy R.

“The Accident by Gayle Fein Petrillo is an important story about how one day or one moment can change our perspective of life. Her story highlights a parent’s love for their children and how vital it is to overcome our fears. Gayle details her life changing experience in her book and teaches children and other readers about the importance of “being comfortable in their own skin”. She is an inspiration with her message that it is never too late for self improvement, and parents and teachers can utilize her book to teach an important life lesson.”

- Lea Márquez Peterson, Past President, Tucson Hispanic Chamber and Chairwoman of the Arizona Corporation Commission

“WOW. Your book is beautiful and I can see why so many people have told you how helpful it will be for youngsters (and everyone). I absolutely love the simplicity. So many people try to TELL us how to get over things, but you SHOW us how you have done it.“  

- David Y.

“Gayle’s lifelong journey to rise above her physical and emotional scars is an impactful, inspirational story told in a straight forward understandable manner. While we all have felt alone or different during our teenage years, Gayle shines a light on how much more difficult it is for burn victims. The Accident teaches readers of all ages the importance of overcoming obstacles to achieve your full potential.”

- Patti V.

“Just downloaded and read your book. SO GOOD! I think it will be very helpful to young people and must have been very cathartic. I’m impressed. I’m smiling. I’m thinking. Good job, my friend.”

- Marjory S.

“Chris made me a fire this morning and I got to read a great little book named “The Accident” that just came out. What a great book if you or someone you know has challenges that are holding them back. Gayle’s story of facing her fears and lack of confidence surprised me knowing how well she presents herself now and is so warm and friendly.“

- Jodi K.

“Just finished an amazing book written by my good friend Gayle Petrillo. Gayle shares her healing journey – moving physical and emotional pain to personal and professional success.”

- Diane S.

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