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Karen Elaine Magee Pape

08 Jun 2018

It is with great sadness we acknowledge the passing of Karen Pape. She has made a significant difference to the way people understand brain recovery and neuroplasticity. She was an outstanding woman and  a brilliant campaigner and advocate for children and people with Cerebral Palsy.

Thank you for all your amazing work Karen.

Karen Elaine Magee Pape

Karen passed away peacefully at home on Saturday June 2, 2018. Daughter of the late Brian and Elaine Magee. Mother of Sarah, Aaron (Lisa Richardson), and loving Nana to Daniela and Jack. Much-loved sister of Brian (Susan) Magee, Ivan Magee and the late Judy (Normand) Baril. Beloved former spouse of Paul Pape. Proud aunt of Brendan, Diana & Charles. Karen was a pillar of strength for her family with an enormous heart.

A graduate of Havergal College, McGill University and the University of Toronto Medical School, Karen was a neonatologist at The Hospital for Sick Children, the Director of the Neonatal Follow – Up Program and the President of the Medical Staff. Widely published, she was instrumental in the development of neonatal ultra sound brain scanning now used in intensive care units around the world. After leaving HSC, Karen became a pioneer in the field of neuroplasticity in children with early brain and nerve injuries. She was a tireless advocate for a revolution in the treatment for children with cerebral palsy. Karen captured this work in her recently published book, The Boy Who Could Run But Not Walk.

She was a rebel with a cause who took no prisoners nor suffered fools. Karen took the road less travelled by and that made all the difference to thousands of her patients and their families. To the end, Karen was still thinking of ways to advocate for improving the treatments available for children with early brain and nerve injuries. She did not go gentle into that good night. In the weeks before her death, Karen endowed a foundation to provide funds to continue her work in this field.

Karen Pape, MD, FRCPC, is a neonatologist and clinical neuroscientist who is a medical innovator challenging the system to raise expectations for babies born with early brain and nerve injury in her book, The Boy Who Could Run But Not Walk.

Her groundbreaking work and approach to understanding brain recovery and neuroplasticity in baby brains spans over thirty years of research and clinical work.   She was the Director of the Neonatal Follow-up Clinic at Toronto’s renowned Hospital for Sick Children, with an additional research fellowship in Neonatal Pathology and Ultrasound Brain Scans in London, England. Dr. Pape co-authored a book on baby brain pathology and was instrumental in the development of neonatal ultrasound brain scanning, now used in neonatal intensive care units worldwide.

As founder and Director of The Magee Clinic in Toronto, she developed a new, personalized approach to children and adults with early onset brain or nerve damage. She has lectured widely and conducted over 200 training workshops and conferences for parents, therapists, and physicians throughout North America and internationally in 12 countries.

As Norman Doidge, MD, renowned expert on neuroplasticity says of Dr. Pape. “She is a pioneer, rightly demanding that colleagues integrate the new science of brain plasticity as it applies to these children, and this is her cri de coeur, recording not only the new breakthroughs but effectively explaining why, tragically, so many families are still denied these important interventions.”

Cerebral Palsy Society
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