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Lives Lived

Otto Gago, M.D.

Summer 2022
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Otto Gago, M.D. (Residency 1967), died February 26, 2022, at age 86.

Gago completed his medical education at the Universidad Central de Venezuela in 1958, where he was awarded the Order of La Universidad and named an honorary professor. After completing his residency at the U-M Medical School in 1961, he went on to lead the section of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, which became one of the Health Care Finance Administration’s four original demonstration project hospitals for excellence in coronary artery bypass procedures. He retired in 2005.

Gago returned frequently to Venezuela to offer free cardiac and thoracic care. He met the challenges of limited supplies with his own resources, including making replacement heart valves for his patients using porcine valves.

Gago maintained a lifelong commitment to the Medical School, where he provided foundational support in 2008 for the creation of the Otto Gago Professorship in Cardiac Surgery.

Gago enjoyed hunting and clay shooting in his spare time, and he was a car enthusiast. He is remembered as a loved and loving husband, father, grandfather, friend, and colleague.

This obituary is based on one published by Dignity Memorial.