Share TERRY's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
KAVANAGH, DR. TERRY Dr. Terry Kavanagh, a famous Canadian pioneer in the field of cardiovascular health, died at home at age 91 on September 10, 2018, from complications of metastatic skin cancer. Terry was born on June 6, 1927, in Manchester, England, to Anne and Denis Kavanagh. He emigrated from England to Canada in 1957 as a physician and worked at the Workmen's Compensation Board (now WSIB) for 10 years, achieving the position of Chief Pensions Medical Officer. In 1967, Terry became Medical Director of the Toronto Rehabilitation Centre (TRC) and introduced what has now become the largest outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program in North America. During his 32-year tenure at TRC, 25,000 patients passed through the program and benefited from Terry's groundbreaking approaches. In 1973, he made medical history when seven of his heart attack patients completed the Boston Marathon and, in 1985, he personally trained and ran with the first heart transplant patient to complete the same marathon. Dr. Kavanagh was also an active clinical researcher in his field. His early work concentrated on post-heart attack patients and establishing the benefits of exercise training, the effects of dehydration on distance runners and the safety of marathon running. His later research contributed significantly to our understanding of exercise testing, prescription and training in heart transplant and chronic heart-failure patients and his findings were published in more than 100 peer-reviewed journals. He received national and international recognition for developing unique and visionary clinical concepts in this field, many of which are as contemporary today as they were forward thinking when he originally introduced them. During his tenure, Terry also authored three books: Heart Attack, Counter Attack; The Healthy Heart Program; and Take Heart. Over a period of four decades, in recognition of his endeavours, Dr. Kavanagh received countless prestigious honours and awards from organizations such as the American Heart Association, the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Medicine, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society and the American College of Sports Medicine. In 2003, Terry was honoured by the University of Toronto, which conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, in recognition of his contributions. In 2006, he also received "The Living Legend" award from the World Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons and, in 2013, on the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of Bayer Inc., Terry received an award as an outstanding Canadian, for his exceptional contributions to science and innovation in Canada. Terry is survived by his loving wife Johanna, as well as numerous nieces and nephews in England, the United States and Canada and dear cousins in Australia. Cremation has taken place and a Celebration of his Life will be held on Thursday, October 4th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mount Pleasant Funeral Centre (www.mountpleasantgroup.com). Visitation will be held on Wednesday, October 3rd from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. at the same location. Those wishing to honour Terry's memory are encouraged to make a donation to the Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada for "The Dr. Terry Kavanagh Heart Health Laboratory" at the University of Toronto (www.cardiachealth.ca).

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Toronto Star on Sep. 15, 2018.