Kelowna man dies days before life-saving surgery

Joel Roshinsky, 20, passed away in Ottawa while awaiting surgery this week.
Image Credit: Facebook

KELOWNA – Friends and family of a young man from Kelowna are in mourning today after Joel Roshinsky, 20, passed away in Ottawa while awaiting surgery this week.

Roshinsky suffered from Graves’ disease as well as a host of associated illnesses. He was admitted to Kelowna General Hospital in January last year after an eye infection led to a life-threatening condition called a thyroid storm.  

Within days he was put into an induced coma and on life support. When he awoke nine days later, his heart and lungs were damaged and he lost the majority of his eyesight. Although he regained much of his vision over the next year, a bout of pneumonia sent him once again to Kelowna General Hospital where he was diagnosed with heart failure and severe pulmonary hypertension. 

He was air-lifted to Vancouver General Hospital where he was approved for a Pulmonary Thromboendarterectomy (PTE), a risky surgery that involves both the heart and lungs.  

According to a post on the family’s fundraising page, Joel passed away with his parents at his side two days before the surgery could take place.

“Joel is a 20-year-old young man who is awesome and full of humor and wit,” the page says. "Through this whole experience he has never been heard to complain about the entire ordeal he has been through.”

A friend and co-worker calls Roshinsky 'an angel on earth.'

"Joel was always so upbeat, happy, and just an all-around amazing human being," Nicole Ritchie says. "I was lucky to have known him and am truly saddened by his death. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. He will never be forgotten."

Image Credit: Facebook

To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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