I Love Life: Med Student Shot Execution Style, Sharing Hope
Here’s a story about a triumphant survivor! His name is Michael Segal. Newsweek magazine calls the young Texan an unsung hero.
Back in 1981, Michael was a promising pre med student at the University of Texas at Austin. Unfortunately, being at the wrong place at the wrong time, altered his life’s dream of being a surgeon. Late one night, Michael was studying with his girlfriend Sharon.
“Sharon told me she had to get back to her dorm. We got into my car and I noticed the gas gage was on empty. I pulled into a nearby convenience store. I asked Sharon to wait in the car and I’d be right back. Right then, the store was in the midst of being robbed. When I walked into the store, one of the three thieves told me to walk to the back of the store. He pushed me down in the cooler and shot me in the back of the head--execution style. He thought I was dead. Otherwise, he would have shot me again and again.”
After he was transported to the hospital, the doctors did not think Michael had much time left.
“They thought I would be dead in the morning. When the surgeon returned the next day, he was shocked I was still alive.He told my family I needed an operation right away but there was a 60 percent chance I would not survive. If I lived, the surgeon said there was a 100 percent chance I would be a vegetable. Maybe, that’s why I don’t like vegetables!”
Thanks to humor and along with his faith, Michael not only survived the shooting, but after months of intense and difficult rehabilitation to relearn many basic skills (such as walking, talking and reading), he surprised everyone. Michael went back to college and graduated with honors.
“When I was shot, I thought God was not with me. But, in the book of Isaiah, Isaiah was told by God He would always be with him. He was always with Isaiah and He was always with me. After months of rehab, I graduated at the top my class. Now, I work as a social worker at Memorial Herman Hospital helping families who have loved ones with head injuries and other serious illnesses.”
Aside from being a social worker, Michael is also an author and public speaker who willingly shares his recipe for happiness. It has four ingredients.
“The first is a positive attitude. The second is a support system. The third is a belief in yourself. The fourth is like an umbrella for the other three: a belief in a higher being. For me, it’s a belief in God. That’s very, very important.”
Earnest Hemmingway once wrote, “the world breaks everyone and afterward many are stronger at the broken places.” Not only is Michael Segal stronger after the tragic shooting, he’s a man with purpose who has dedicated his life to helping others.