Sey Hee Park, a double Gator, was integral to the College of Medicine, colleagues said.
Park, who served as an ambassador and led tours of the college, was remembered by about 100 peers, friends and family members in the University Auditorium on Monday night, more than two weeks after he died. The Alligator could not conﬁrm his cause of death.
The 28-year-old was in his second year of a three-year-residency program with the department of community health and family medicine when he unexpectedly died, said Peter Carek, the chair of the Department of Community Health and Family Medicine. He was the type of person who made instant friends, Carek said.
“Though it was a sad event, tonight was about celebrating (Park’s) life and his impact on a wide range of people,” he said. “He never knew a stranger. His overall warmth and caring for everyone was extraordinary.”
George Eldayrie, a chief resident of the program Park worked in, said Park made time — with a hectic medical residency schedule — to be with friends and enjoy good food. Eldayrie remembered Park’s car, which he said was covered in bumper stickers from Park’s favorite local restaurant Satchel’s Pizza.
“He did everything to make people smile and would do anything to make people happy,” Eldayrie said. “He is an irreplaceable friend.”
Park graduated from UF with a bachelor of science in microbiology and cell science in 2012 and a medical degree in 2016. He was working for his residency at UF Health Shands Hospital.
Liz Harlan, a third-year medical student, said Park once helped her through a difﬁcult time after failing an important exam. She didn’t know what to do after seeing the bad grade and questioned her academic path.
“Everyone told me to call Sey,” Harlan said.
Harlan said Park spoke to her about overcoming his own academic struggles in medical school and gave her the encouragement that has kept her in the medical program to this day. She, and other speakers at the memorial, shared how Park always had a knack for helping others when they needed it most.
Samuel Dickmann, an assistant professor at the College of Medicine, held back tears as he recalled a time when he found Park waiting for him in the parking lot outside their work with a cup of coffee and a congratulations on being a father.
Park was kind and also intelligent, said Ki Park, his sister and a UF assistant professor of medicine. His name means “enlightenment to the world,” she said.
Ki Park said her brother was always polite and once thanked a nurse, through tears, when she gave him an injection.
“Sey will provide joy and comfort to those in heaven and, knowing Sey, probably tech. support too,” she said.
UF's department of community health and family medicine, in partnership with the Park family, has established the Sey Park Memorial Fund for Resident and Student Education and Resiliency Outreach. Those interested can donate at online or mail a check made payable to the UF Foundation to UF Foundation, Inc. P.O. Box 14425, Gainesville, FL 32604. Write in memory of Sey Park on the memo line.