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UAM Spirit Award Winner Has Rare Gift

Monticello man doesn't let spinal injuries get him down.
MONTICELLO, AR -  Gene Norton has a unique gift.

“People who spend time around him feel blessed,” says his mother, Betty Norton. “That’s a rare thing.”

When Gene was in a Little Rock hospital in 2008 recovering from a spinal injury, doctors and nurses didn’t want him to leave. “He asked one of his doctors one day when he could go home,” remembers Betty. “His doctor said, ‘Gene, you can’t go home. We’re not going to let you. You make us all feel too good!”

Gene Norton is 46 years old and has special needs. He lives in Monticello with his parents, Marvin and Betty. Gene is confined to a wheelchair, the result of two spinal injuries, but the injuries haven’t crushed his spirit.

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