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Michael Coleman helps people find their destination from the information desk at the hospital. He also cheerfully delivers patient mail and floral arrangements.

He volunteers 3 days a week and is always positive and upbeat, which is remarkable – but even more so because he has overcome a major traumatic event in his life. In 2005, a gunshot wound left him paralyzed from the chest down, and he relies on a wheelchair to get around.

Where some people would be full of resentment or self-pity, Michael is grateful for the treatment he received at our hospital.

"Thanks to the wonderful doctors who worked so hard to save my life and took great care of me the 3 months I was a patient, I was motivated to give back as a volunteer," he says. "I wanted to give back to help visitors and patients feel as comfortable, happy and welcome as I did."

Michael does just that. At the information desk, he assists the staff in directing patients and validating parking tickets, but he also escorts those who want a personal guide to get them to their destination. He always has a ready smile and is a fun and good-natured presence at the front desk.

Michael attended Westport High and Kansas City Kansas Community College. He is an avid sports fan, both as a participant and spectator. With a little adaptation, he can participate in almost any sport, including basketball, waterskiing and hand-cycling – like bicycling but using the hands instead of the feet.

He’s also a fan of University of Kansas and University of Missouri basketball and, of course, is passionate about giving back through his volunteer efforts at the hospital.

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