Plutonium Injections – Patient HP-1

This biography is in honor of one of the patients that were injected with plutonium in Rochester, NY during WWII. They were people just like you and me but were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Amedio Lovecchio

Amedio Lovecchio

Amedio Lovecchio was born on 20 May 1878. His family thought that he came to the US at about aged 14 or 15. I found on the Ellis Island website that he arrived at New York City on 14 Sep 1906 aboard the “Perugia” from Palermo. The passenger records say he came from Serradifalco, Sicily and was aged 28 years old. Both he and a companion, Filipo Lovalenti (aged 27), each had $12 on them and were farm laborers destine for Rochester. Amedio was headed to live with his cousin, Michele Aromia? at 7 Vetter Street.

He first shows up in the Rochester city directories in 1910 boarding at 60 First Street and he is working as a finisher. He would continue as a finisher for many years. He lived for a few years on Lewis Street before he would finally end up living at 8 Niagara Street where he lived the rest of his life.

Amedio would marry Carmela —– (born 1883) about 1912 and they had two sons, Samuel born 26 May 1913 (SSDI) and Louis born 20 Aug 1918 (SSDI).

Tombstones of Amedio & Carmela

Tombstones of Amedio & Carmela

Amedio registered for the draft during World War I and is described as having blue eyes and black hair. Living with him and his family in the 1920 census is a brother, Leonardo, aged 33. Beginning in 1925 the occupation for Amedio is just listed as helper or laborer.

In 1945, at aged 67, he was admitted to Strong Memorial Hospital suffering from a duodenal ulcer. On 16 October he was the first person in Rochester to be injected with plutonium. His dosage of 0.28 microcuries was 40 times the radiation that a person gets in a lifetime.

Amedio was to survive until 12 Jan. 1960 when he died at aged 81 of bronchopneumonia. His obit in the newspaper says he leaves a sister in Pennsylvania and another in Italy. He also leaves his brother, Leonardo, in Rochester and another two brothers in Italy. He and his wife, Carmela, who died 19 June 1967 (obit), are buried in Section 20 South of Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.