kevin morton surgeon family

(photo courtesy of NBC Nightly screenshot)

A random robbery in July 2007 nearly took the life of a Michigan college student who was shot in the stomach and had to fight for survival. It was a summer night just after midnight when Kevin Morton Jr. was in his car after work when someone emerged from the shadows and shot him.

Morton, then 22, was a student at Oakland University and working at an Arby’s in Eastpointe that night when a bullet passed through his stomach, diaphragm, pancreas and two main blood vessels.

Upon being admitted into the emergency room, doctors found massive internal bleeding and Kevin was told he only had a 10% chance to live. But apparently God had a different plan.

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(Photo courtesy of Kevin Morton Facebook)

It was a painful road to recovery, being in the hospital for nearly two months. But it was because of that near death experience that Kevin has become a surgeon in order to save other people’s lives now.

Morton, now 31, found his calling to become a surgeon thanks to Dr. Dharti Sheth-Zelmanski, who was in the trauma unit at Detroit’s St. John Hospital nine years ago.

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The veteran doctor was there for Morton again when the 31-year-old graduated last week from Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.

“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.

Sheth-Zelmanski got a call for a Code 1 trauma patient that night. Doctors prepared Morton’s family for the worst.

“Whether we call it intuition, experience or a miracle … we put some extra sutures in and the bleeding stopped,” Sheth-Zelmanski recalled.

He had plans to graduate from school and go into the pharmaceuticals industry, but that all changed when doctors at St. John Hospital gave him another chance.

Now, he will be starting a residency as a doctor at that very same hospital.

Morton even toyed with the idea of being a doctor when he was younger, but said he didn’t have any role models and never met doctors at career fairs while attending Pershing High School in Detroit. His stepmother’s career prompted him to study…

Detroit Gunshot Survivor Life Saved By Surgeon, Now He Became One  was originally published on

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