A young black man from Michigan has overcome the odds after being inspired to accomplish the unimaginable following a near-death situation.
In 2007, a then 22-year-old Kevin Morton Jr. (pictured) was employed at an Arby’s restaurant in Detroit and attending Oakland University in the Michigan city of Rochester. On one nearly fatal night that year, Morton was finishing up his closing duties working the late shift.
As he left work and was getting into his car, Morton was approached by a man with a gun who was attempting to rob him. However, the botched robbery suddenly turned into an attempted murder after the lone gunman fired a shot from his pistol. The single bullet pierced Morton’s stomach area leaving him bleeding and unconscious.
After a 911 call was placed, Morton was rushed to the trauma center at Detroit’s St. John Hospital. Dr. Dharti Sheth-Zelmanski is a surgeon who was working at St. John’s trauma center that night. Subsequently, Dr. Sheth-Zelmanski got a phone call telling him to prepare for a Code 1 trauma patient in his unit.
When Dr. Sheth-Zelmanski and his team finally was able to assess Morton’s tragic condition, doctors gave Morton a 10 percent chance of survival. Dr. Sheth-Zelmanski had the difficult but crucial job of telling Morton’s family that he had a small chance of recovering alive from his gunshot wound to the abdomen.
However, fate would not have its way that night. “Whether we call it intuition, experience or a miracle … we put some extra sutures in and the bleeding stopped,” Dr. Sheth-Zelmanski told NBC News. We knew he wasn’t going to give up. We weren’t gonna give up — so we had to make it happen.” he continued.
Fast-forward nine years later, and you have a story of triumph fit for a riveting movie. Last week, Morton (now 31) graduated from Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. Not only that, the future surgeon had the doctor who saved his life proudly looking on as he received his degree.
“The compassion and drive that Dr. Sheth has shown in trying to save my life … I just wanna pay that forward,” Morton told NBC News in his exclusive interview. This resounding story of overcoming obstacles is proof that any dream is achievable and that there is always hope no matter how dire the situation is.
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