Up Next

Get Lifted

This man is a doctor at the hospital where surgeons saved his life

Now he’ll be saving lives too

It was nearly nine years ago when Kevin Morton Jr., was shot in an Arby’s parking lot where he worked. He was sitting in his car after he’d ended his shift in the Detroit suburb of Eastpointe.

He doesn’t remember much but he woke up in Detroit’s St. John Hospital. Surgeons worked tirelessly to save his life. For hours, they were on a mission to remove a bullet that was lodged in his abdomen. The bullet passed through his stomach, diaphragm, pancreas and two main blood vessels. The doctors had to stop excessive bleeding.

They didn’t think he would make it through the night. But he did. That was in July 2007. Morton was 22. He would spend nearly six months in the hospital where he endured five surgeries. After he recovered, it was time for Morton to return to his life.

The Oakland University student decided to become a doctor after that life-altering experience. Morton, now 31, graduated from Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine last month according to the Detroit News.

He will start his residency at St. John Hospital, the same place where surgeons saved his life.

“I want to be there for someone else, and keep paying it forward,” Morton said.

Dr. Dharti Sheth-Zelmanski was on call and helped save Morton’s life the night he arrived at St. John as a gunshot victim. She participated in his graduation ceremony.

According to the Associated Press, Sheth-Zelmanski credits Morton with “persevering through his injuries and turning the unfortunate event into something positive.”

“If I am ever in that situation, I hope God gives me the necessary skills, confidence and steady hands to save someone’s life, like Dr. Sheth did for me,” Morton said.

Sheth-Zelmanski credits Morton for having “such a strong will and such determination.”

“He could have said, ‘Look at my injuries. I am going to go on disability.’ But he said, ‘No, I am going to do better than that.’ He’s the hero in this. He’s the true inspiration.”

Kelley Evans is a general editor at The Undefeated. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.