I was unprepared for the harrowing account that followed our first casual conversation at Ben Taub General Hospital, an award winning Level I Trauma Center in the world renowned Texas Medical Center. Michael’s humor was heartwarming and never hinted at the seriousness of his brush with death.
Once determined to become a surgeon in the 1980s, his life changed within seconds when he was targeted by robbers in a convenience store. They were insistent on destroying him as an eye-witness to their theft, and took him to a freezer where they shot him in the back of the head, believing that his survival was impossible. Though his case was immediately turned over to homicide, they were wrong. He survived.
His next steps were nothing short of miraculous. Amidst a grueling recovery, Michael not only adjusted his trajectory towards success, he pursued and obtained two degrees that would allow him to tend spirits in lieu of tending bodies. In catching new dreams, he refused to be defined by other people’s perceptions of his life-altering challenges. Instead, he’s turned his trauma into his triumph.
Gracing magazines, newscasts, talk shows and countless elegant events, fanfare has never gotten the best of him. His humility is rivaled only by his heart for the broken. I am inspired by his tenacity when the odds were against him. He was told that the bullet that shattered in his brain would prevent him from ever walking or speaking again.
I am delighted to applaud him as a fellow speaker and honored to call him a personal friend. Please join me in saluting this #dreamcatcher for February 2019! Michael Segal is a reminder that no one else can tell us how we’ll shape our destiny. Our choices determine our changes. Find out more reasons why this #dreamcatcher compels me to shoot for the stars in our personal interview below!
What do you feel are your personal and/or professional callings? How did you know?
To help people, especially those who are in crisis. I guess it’s “part of my genes.” My parents always tried to teach us to help others. My two brothers are doctors. I was going to be an orthopedic surgeon—helping people with their broken bones. When I was hurt I lost that “dream.” However, I still wanted to help people—eventually returning to college and graduate school, becoming a social worker to help people with their “hurting spirits.”
What was the defining moment that compelled you to choose this direction? What cemented your passion?
As I mentioned, I was planning to be an orthopedic surgeon—then I was hurt in 1981. I ALWAYS wanted to help people. I LOVE trying to put a smile on people’s faces! I believe EVERYONE undergoes some obstacles (that’s the definition, in my opinion, of being human). We all need to try to help people when they are “down.” I guess people might say I’m an encourager—but I just try!
What would people be surprised to know about you?
Maybe that when I was in my coma I could hear my friends and family. That’s not so surprising as many people in a coma have “knowledge of people around them.” However, when I was in my coma, I could not understand what so many of my friends and family were doing in the Southwest part of Russia! In reality, I was in Austin and thus hallucinating.
If you had a catch phrase, what would it be?
“Keep Hope Alive!” as well as, “Tell me something good!”
When people see what you’re striving for, what would you want them to keep in mind? What can they do to help support this cause?
To try to be positive and good. Again, try to always be positive and good!
Click here to take a walk down Michael’s memory lane in the 1980s and see firsthand how he used his personal, timeless tragedy to transform the lives of others.
#michaelsegalinspiresme #Februarydreamcatcher #keephopealive #anythingispossible #defytheodds #nevermakeexcuses #makeeverysecondcount #carlamichelle #speakerlife