November 2014

Northeastern Ontario Mourns Loss of Pioneering Doctor

Sat, 29 November 14 08:00

The School is saddened to learn of the passing of Dr William (Liam) Patrick Fay, who died recently aged 72.  A pioneering nephrologist, Dr Fay had distinguished career that transformed the lives of many Canadians living with kidney failure.

Born in Trim, County Meath in 1942, Liam Fay earned a scholarship at the University College Dublin Medical School at 17 years of age, becoming the programme's youngest student when he started.  After graduating in 1966, Dr Fay went on to complete  his residency in Gibraltar, before emigrating to Canada with his wife Anne and their daughter Heather, settling in Greater Sudbury, Ontario.

In 1973, Dr Fay helped launch the first dialysis program in Greater Sudbury and northeastern Ontario.  Before the program was introduced, patients suffering from kidney failure had to travel to Toronto and Hamilton for life-saving dialysis.

In the early 1990’s, Dr. Fay also led the expansion of the Sudbury nephrology program to include satellite dialysis centres for remote northern communities across northeastern Ontario.

Flags were flown at half mast outside Health Sciences North where the nephrology service is based in tribute to a doctor who worked in hospital medicine for over 40 years and continued to see patients until shortly before his death following a sudden illness. 

“He was a wonderful man,” said Mary-Katherine Coady (Health Sciences North's nephrology outpatient program) who knew Fay for 30 years. “He was kind and compassionate.”

“He was a good man who made a difference in the lives of people in Greater Sudbury and northeastern Ontario with kidney disease,” says Dr. Richard Goluch, Medical Director of Health Sciences North Nephrology Service.

Dr. Fay will be remembered for bringing exceptional care to the people of our region. He was described as caring, dedicated, respected, compassionate, professor, family man, an outstanding physician and person, a tireless worker, and unsung hero.

Dr Fay's expertise and dedication was recognized by numerous awards, including the Honorary Life Member Award (Health Sciences North), the Glenn Sawyer Service Award (Ontario Medical Association), and in April 2014, the Human Touch Award (Cancer Care Ontario).

Dr Fay is survived by his wife Anne, their children Heather, Tania, Michael, Conor, Natasha and Eóin, by his grandchildren Dagmar, Éile, Meallá, Simeon and Anna and by his brother, Sean.

The UCD School of Medicine & Medical Science are proud that our young graduate has gone on to have such distinguished medical career.  We extend our sympathies to Liam’s family and to his colleagues at Northern Ontario School of Medicine and Health Sciences North/ Horizon Santé-Nord.