OBITUARY

Dr. Przemyslaw "Shamek" Pietucha

24 August, 197610 October, 2015

Dr. Przemyslaw (Shamek) Pietucha

Dr. Przemyslaw (Shamek) Andrzej Pietucha of Toronto, Canada, had his very rich life come to an unexpected end on October 10, 2015, after a brief illness after just having embarked on another adventure, a sabbatical to study Yoga in India. He was 39 years old. Shamek is survived by his loving parents Kaz and Sabina, and his adoring brother Patryk Pietucha and sister-in-law Alyssa Pietucha. He is predeceased by his grandparents, Franciszka and Jan Pankowski; and Czeslawa and Boleslaw Pietucha. Shamek was born August 24, 1976, in Malbork, Poland, but immigrated with his family in 1982 to Alberta, Canada, where he grew up. A graduate of Louis St. Laurent Catholic High School, Shamek accepted an athletic scholarship to the University of Virginia, where he graduated with a B.A. in Biology in 1999. A butterfly specialist, he swam for the Virginia Cavaliers swimming and diving team in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) competition from 1996 to 1999. During his four-year college career, he received nine All-American honours, was chosen team captain as a senior, and won NCAA national title in the 200-yard butterfly in 1999 - a first for the University of Virginia. While swimming for the University of Virginia, Shamek was also a member of the Canadian national swim team. He won silver and bronze medals in the 100- and 200-metre butterfly events, respectively, at the 1997 World University Games. At the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, he won a gold medal in the 200-metre butterfly, a silver in the 100-metre butterfly, and a bronze as a member of the Canadian team in the 4x100-metre medley relay. After an impressive career at the University of Virginia, Shamek went on to be a member of the Canadian Olympic team, representing Canada at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. In 2007, he was inducted into the Virginia Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame. Shamek’s dedication and affinity for challenges had him successfully join the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine in 2001. That same year he officially retired from swimming to focus on studying medicine. He still made time to found a “Swim Fast Faster” course where he tutored young competitive swimming hopefuls. This was a way to stay connected with the important chapter that was his athletic career. During medical school, he shared his intellect, teaching ability, and patience with his classmates, and infused creativity and energy into the class. After receiving his Doctor of Medicine in 2004, and contemplating several possible programs of postgraduate study, Shamek went on to study Family Medicine at the University of Toronto, completing residency in 2006. He subsequently completed the University of Toronto year of special competency in Anesthesia in 2007, with an aim to gain expertise in chronic pain. After a brief period working in Orangeville, Ontario, Shamek went on to work, from 2009, at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), where as a primary care hospitalist he provided medical care to those with coexisting mental health and addiction issues. He was also the Physician Lead for the Hospitalist Service for several years. With his love for complexity, it is no surprise he would, at CAMH, further hone his unique expertise and meet a very underserviced health need - the recognition and treatment of pain in those suffering from mental health and addiction issues, improving best practices in this area at CAMH through collaborative work with other health professionals. Shamek, a student and practitioner of mindfulness, also brought this to his practice. His clinical practice, learning from his patients, an open mind and belief that boundaries are often artificial led Shamek to apply to the University of Arizona, one of the world’s leading programs in Integrative Medicine. On top of his many other roles, he completed this two year Fellowship in Integrative Medicine in 2014. During that same period in 2012, he founded a website entitled “Integrative Health Sojourner” where he shared insights and evidence regarding integrative medicine. Taking together his diverse personal, professional and education experiences, Shamek decided about a year ago to spend the better part of a year on academic sabbatical from CAMH, where he would study with world leading Yoga and Mindfulness experts in India. This was part of his ongoing commitment to bring integrative and complimentary medicine to his health care practice, and to share his learning with his colleagues. It was in Delhi, days before he would leave for his first Yoga retreat where this dream and his life were cut short. For all his achievements, Shamek remained true to his simple roots and values. Above all else, he cared most about his family and friends, whom, to a fault, he always put ahead of himself. He saw the best in, and shared a piece of himself, with every person he met. His mischievous smile and laugh were contagious. He was patient, loyal, selfless, and gave all his heart to every relationship. It is no surprise that countless people are struggling to imagine life without him but at the same time, can’t help but keep his memory alive as everyone who met him was changed for the better. Shamek’s life will be celebrated on Sunday Oct. 18, 2015 (details below). Donations in Shamek’s memory may be made to either the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic serving women who are victims of abuse, or to Swimming Canada’s Victor Davis fund for young athletes.

Visitation Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015 10:00 am – 1:00 pm Rosar-Morrison Funeral Home and Chapel 467 Sherbourne St., Toronto

Funeral Service Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm The Berkeley Church 315 Queen St. East, Toronto

Celebration of Shamek’s Life Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015 7:00 pm The Berkeley Church 315 Queen Street East

http://swimswam.com/canadian-olympian-shamek-pietucha-passes-at-the-age-of-39/

Services

  • Visitation

    Sunday, 18 October , 2015

  • Funeral Service

    Sunday, 18 October , 2015

  • Celebration of His Life

    Sunday, 18 October , 2015

Memories

Dr. Przemyslaw "Shamek" Pietucha

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SBH

24 February 2016

When I first met you, I knew from the start that you were a special person, even without truly knowing you! After we keep on running into each other over the years, you effortlessly demonstrated to me such intelligence, kindness, caring and compassion. Shamek, I did not know that you would become a true inspiration in my life, as well as those whom you have shared time with in this life. May light guide you as you it has guided me, and protect over all those that you have touch! You will be missed!

Mike Yohemas

17 February 2016

Sabina and Kaz,
I am very saddened to hear of your loss of Shamek. This is tragic. My thoughts go out to you.

Dwight Ferguson

11 January 2016

I am truly shocked to find out about the passing of Shamek. Meeting him several years ago and knowing immediately he was a kind honest soul I found Shamek to be a friend. Shame you will be greatly missed by those around you. I wish we could have known each other better.

Holly Kleiderlein

16 December 2015

I am so sorry to hear this news for the first time today. I have an indelible memory of Shamek as a teammate at UVa. I was having a bad day and he came by that evening just to cheer me up. I was so touched by his thoughtfulness, and of course that smile of his, that I couldn't help but let go of my bad mood. His accomplishments in the pool were awesome, but it was who he was as a person that made him so remarkable. My heartfelt condolences to his friends and family. Thank you, Shamek.

Paras Mehta

16 November 2015

Think of you often, my brother.

Suzanne McKeag

10 November 2015

Today marks a month and I still can't believe he's gone. I'm thinking of Shamek and his family today, and often. I hope knowing you and Shamek are thought of frequently brings you a bit of comfort and warmth as you grieve.
Most sincerely.

Les Sieben

7 November 2015

Kaz, our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family during this time of grieving. Please know that you are not alone in remembering a truly wonderful person that meant so much to so many.

Milenko

4 November 2015

Dear Kaz,

Our sincere condolences to you and your Family.

Milenko & family

31 October 2015

Sabino i Andrzeju strata syna to tragedia,ale to dla was nowy etap w yciu,on i tak bdzie y w waszych sercach.Przyjmijcie wyrazy wspóczucia Halina i Zdzichu Goschler

31 October 2015

Sabino i Andrzeju strata syna to tragedia dla was,ale i nowy etap ycia,bo Przemek i tak zostaje w waszych sercach.Przyjmijcie wyrazy wspóczucia Halina i Zdzichu Goschler

From the Family
From the Family
From the Family
From the Family