Sunday, June 9, 2013


In Memory of Trevor Allen Pengelly - 13.5.1959 - 8.6.2013

In my search to find other patients with MSA in South Africa I, by chance, found Trevor’s email address on a blog.  I immediately wrote to him, and since that day in November 2011 our friendship had grown from strength to strength.

We started off by sharing our MSA experiences with each other, comparing medications, and laughing at the fact that words like zimmer frame and commode had prematurely become part of our vocabulary.  His great sense of humour, despite the difficulties he suffered, had me in stitches on many days, and I could always depend on him to see the lighter side of the darkest days.

When he picked up that my friend Karin and I were involved in creating awareness for MSA, he encouraged us.  The two of us enthusiastically made plans to find other patients in S.A., but this was not to be; the dictator MSA proved to be stronger than both of us.  Although the disease didn’t allow him much, he remained keenly interested in our activities and supported our efforts right to the end.

I never had the privilege of meeting him, but my friend Nola Dippenaar did visit to share her vast knowledge of health with him.  These were her words after that meeting; “Sonja you will just love him!  The two of you are so alike.”  According to Nola, with whom I agree, it was easy to love him.

He also proved to be a generous friend too when he sent me his mobility scooter.  A useful  gift I was very thankful for.

It was a special privilege to share these last years of his life journey.  The loss of my friend is a blow and I will miss him dearly.  His positive attitude with which he bravely confronted the disease will stay with me forever.

In the beginning we used to end our letters with, ‘stay strong’, which progressed to, ‘lots of love’, but for some time it had been, ‘love you lots’. 

For the last time; love you lots, always, my friend,


1 Corinthians 13:2; if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.


  1. Sonja, My condolences on your loss of such a great friend. I must say, it is rare for us to have the ability to know others with MSA. This online contact is a big plus for us and we truly derive friends through this avenue. I wish Trevor hadn't had to suffer with this. God bless him and all of you who cared deeply. Thanks for honoring his memory on your blog! -- Dan

  2. Thank you Dan. Losing him is a blow, honouring him was easy. This friendship proved that a lot of good can come through the internet and the social media. God bless, Sonja


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