Tony Petrello Turns His Daughter’s Struggle With CP Into Hope For All Children With Developmental Disabilities

Tony Petrello’s commitment to Texas Children’s Hospital is deeply personal. Eight years ago his wife Cynthia gave birth to their daughter Carena, who was three months premature.

As a result of being premature, Carena was born with Cerebral Palsy caused by Periventricular Leukomalacia. Periventricular Leukomalacia is a condition in which a premature baby’s brain is starved of oxygen.

The Petrello’s searched worldwide to find a facility whose research provided answers that could help their daughter. Those efforts, left Tony Petrello convinced that research on brain conditions affecting children was lacking. Consequently, he resolved to aid research that would make it possible for all children with developmental disorders live the best possible life.

Toward that end, he and his wife made a $7 million dollar donation. The money went to the Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital. Tony Petrello currently serves on the hospital’s Board of Trustees.

According to the 300,000 square foot facility that bears his name was made possible by a $50 million contribution by Enterprise Products Chairman and Director Dan Duncan and his wife. Enterprise owns 51,000 miles of crude oil and natural gas pipeline.


Today, Carena Petrello struggles valiantly to acquire basic skills most of us take for granted. A year ago at the age of seven, she learned to eat solid foods. Her next objective is to walk and talk.

Tony Petrello is the President, Chairman of the board and CEO of Nabors a supplier of oil drilling rigs. In 1991 he held seats on the company’s Board of Directors and Executive Board. Over the last 26 years, he has held multiple executive positions at Nabors.

His working life began at the law firm Baker & McKenzie where he specialized in international arbitration and tax and general corporate law. By the end of Tony Petrello’s 12-year career with the firm, he had risen to become their New York City office’s Managing Partner.

His academic achievements include a law degree from Harvard. He also holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mathematics from Yale.

While at Yale Tony Petrello became acquainted with Serge Lang. A professor of mathematics Mr. Lang would become Mr. Petrello’s mentor and lifelong friend.

When Professor Lang passed away in 2016 Tony Petrello decided to honor his friend’s memory by establishing a $150,000 endowment in his name. Later it would expand to match other contributions to the endowment up to $150,000.

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