- Associated Press - Thursday, May 5, 2016

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A gunshot victim whose life was saved by Detroit doctors is set to graduate from an East Lansing medical school.

Kevin Morton Jr., 31, will graduate Thursday from Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, The Detroit News (http://detne.ws/1WKxUq9 ) reported. One of the surgeons who saved him about nine years ago, Dr. Dharti Sheth-Zelmanski, will participate in the ceremony.

Morton was a 22-year-old Oakland University student in July 2007 when someone shot him while he was sitting in his car after work in Eastpointe. The bullet passed through his stomach, diaphragm, pancreas and two main blood vessels.

Morton was taken to Detroit’s St. John Hospital, where surgeons worked for hours to remove the bullet from his abdomen and to stop the bleeding. His father was told by one resident doctor that he wouldn’t make it through the night.

But he pulled through and was able to survive five surgeries, about six months in the hospital and more than a year of recovery.

Now he’s becoming a doctor so he can help others as Sheth-Zelmanski and the other surgeons helped him. He plans to specialize in surgery so he can perform the same life-saving operations on other gunshot victims.

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

Sheth-Zelmanski said she was simply doing her job and trying to perform as well as she could, like she does for all of her patients. She credits Morton with persevering through his injuries and turning the unfortunate event into something positive.

“He has such a strong will and such determination,” she said. “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.”

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Information from: The Detroit News, http://detnews.com/

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