Memories & Condolences

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.

Her family would like to thank Wing Lam and Pia Stampe for their support.
There will be a celebration of Karen’s life on Tuesday June 12, 2018 at The Rosedale Golf Club from 4 to 7pm. In lieu of flowers, the family asks you to consider a donation to Karen’s foundation.

Memories & Condolences


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Lyn, Michelle Kungl and Family
To say that Karen influenced our daughter’s life and our family would be an incredible understatement. I met Karen 36 years ago, two days after the birth of my beautiful first child, Michelle Kungl. During the delivery, it was thought that Michelle’s spinal cord had been severed at C3 and as a result she required an immediate tracheostomy and to be put on a life supporting ventilator. Her diagnosis was dismal. We were told that she would not likely live more than a few months and that she would never have any function below the neck nor be able to live off of a ventilator. But Michelle survived. She lived at Sick Children’s Hospital for a full 7 years, the first 3 in the ICU. She was transferred to Bloorview for the following 7 years, only able to come home with support staff for a few days at a time. The whole time and up until months before she passed away Karen was ever present in her and our families lives. Karen never gave up trying to come up with ideas about how Michelle’s situation might be improved. Karen Pape is the reason Michelle finally sat up on her own at the age of 3, walked at the age of 7, was weaned off the ventilator for longer and longer periods of time. Fast forward to today and you will find that Michelle spends as much as 10 hours at a time free of her ventilator, lives in her own apartment and drives her own vehicle to her full-time job. These were the unbelievable accomplishments that Karen directly helped Michelle to achieve. Karen was an ongoing advocate and cheerleader for Michelle and our whole family and she will be remembered with love and appreciation forever.