Grateful stroke survivor endows fund for neurosurgery lecture series
Yale Professor Koichi Hamada was at a meeting when he began to feel ill. When he came out of the meeting, he realized that he couldn’t stand up. He shuffled to the stairs, and went down them one at a time, sitting down. He was determined to walk over to the university’s Health Center.
A secretary found him at the bottom of the stairs and realized there was something dramatically wrong. She called Hamada’s assistant, Louise Danishevsky, who immediately called an ambulance to transport him to the hospital. At the hospital, a CT scan found a brain hemorrhage at the base of his skull secondary to a ruptured aneurysm.
Neurosurgeon Ketan Bulsara, M.D., who specializes in exactly this kind of problem, was summoned and successfully operated on Hamada, saving him from potentially devastating neurological impairments, or even death.
Fast forward 11 years: Hamada has completely recovered. He and his wife, Carolyn Beaudin, are so grateful that they gave a gift to UConn Health to establish an annual lectureship in honor of Bulsara, who leads the neurosurgery team at UConn Health.
“He saved Koichi’s life,” Beaudin said. “Not only that, he saved him in a way that allowed Koichi to go on to be extremely productive.”
Hamada, who has retired from teaching, is a world-renowned economist who advises Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. Until the pandemic hit, he would travel bimonthly to Japan to consult. In fact, Hamada is considered the architect of “Abenomics,” economic policies based on monetary easing, fiscal stimulus, and structural reform.
Beaudin, who retired from teaching in the Connecticut community college system and was professor and administrator at Quinnipiac University, now edits her husband’s articles and other academic papers.
Their gift, the Carolyn M. Beaudin and Koichi Hamada Fund for Neurosurgery, will endow an annual neurosurgery lecture. It will bring a renowned neurosurgeon to UConn Health each spring to share the latest innovations and advances in neurosurgery. Beaudin said the couple is thrilled to be able to honor Bulsara and, ultimately, help other patients.
“It’s exciting. I never thought we would be in any position to do something like that,” she said.
Bulsara said he is grateful for and honored by the gift.
“Both Carolyn and Professor Hamada have dedicated their lives to the advancement of others,” said Bulsara, who is also a professor at UConn Health. “Professor Hamada’s work has had global impact and has charted the future course of generations of people and countries all around the world. Together, they have made an incredible team whose positive global impact is legendary and will benefit generations to come.”
Andrew Agwunobi, M.D., UConn Health’s CEO and Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, said he was grateful to Beaudin and Hamada for their thoughtful gift.
“This lecture series will bring cutting-edge neurosurgeons from around the world to UConn Health to share the latest innovations and advances in clinical neurosurgery,” Agwunobi said.