When Kevin Morton Jr was 22 years old, he worked at Arby's fast-food restaurant in Detroit. One evening after closing, a would-be robber appeared from the shadows as Morton was getting in his car and shot Morton in the stomach. Doctors said Morton--who planned to enter pharmaceutical field--had a 10 percent chance of making it through the night.

Dr. Dharti Sheth-Zelmanski received a call for a Code 1 trauma patient that night and rushed to the hospital, as 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 said.

Morton then spent the next 50 days in the hospital recovering. Through the hard road to health, Morton re-evaluated his life's purpose and decided to pay it forward and become a surgeon, in hopes he could save others the way Dr. Sheth-Zelmanski at the trauma unit at Detroit's St. John Hospital helped him.

Bringing the entire ordeal full circle, the veteran doctor was on hand for Morton as he received his diploma from Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine. Now, Morton will begin his residency in the same hospital where he recovered nearly 10 years ago.

"We knew he wasn't going to give up," Sheth-Zelmanski said. "We weren't gonna give up — so we had to make it happen."