Skip to main content
UC Davis Health System

UC Davis Health System

Jerome J. and Helen S. Suran Fund supports neurological surgery trainees

Jerome and Helen Suran © UC Regents
Jerome and Helen Suran

Posted Feb. 15, 2012

During the Thanksgiving holiday in 2008, Jerry Suran was playing basketball with family members. “Like an old fool, I went after a loose ball,” he recalls. He fell, hitting his head and scraping his hands and knees.

One day four months later, he began feeling ill and having trouble finishing his sentences. He wanted to sleep off his headache, but his wife, Helen, insisted that he should go to a hospital emergency room.

“I told him that maybe he’d had a stroke, and I knew time was urgent,” she says. “I was screaming, ‘Don’t you understand?’”

Dr. Kee Kim © UC Regents"I’m proud that UC Davis Medical Center has a staff that springs into action to take care of patients. This can make a difference between life and death."
— Kee Kim

They sought out Kee Kim, an associate professor and chief of spinal neurosurgery at UC Davis Health System. A CT scan revealed a slow bleed in Jerry Suran’s head, causing pressure and shifting his brain position. Kim performed surgery the next morning.

Philanthropy provides the “margin of excellence” that allows UC Davis to create programs that can truly impact and improve health. To give to UC Davis Health System or for more information, contact UC Davis Health Sciences Development at 916-734-9400 or visit

The surgical treatment resolved Jerry Suran’s memory and speech difficulties. Kim and Jerry Suran, who is a senior lecturer emeritus in the UC Davis Graduate School of Management and in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, discovered a connection extending beyond UC Davis. Both were graduates, called “Peglegs,” of New York’s science-based Stuyvesant High School.

To thank Kim and to honor these bonds, the Surans established the Jerome J. and Helen S. Suran Fund, in honor of Kee Kim, in the Department of Neurological Surgery, which will finance scholarships to train medical personnel in the department.

“I’m proud that UC Davis Medical Center has a staff that springs into action to take care of patients,” Kim says. “This can make a difference between life and death.”