Poor Ohio Teen Works as Auto Mechanic to Survive, Fulfills His Dream to Become a Doctor at 51

When a man saw his two young daughters playing doctor, he was overcome with a wave of emotions and reminded of something that tugged at his heartstrings. Little did he know that the heartfelt dream he had put on the back burner would come true most unexpectedly.


Carl Allamby hailed from humble beginnings. He lived in a small suburb of East Cleveland, Ohio, where his parents moved in the mid-70s because it was one of those few places where they could afford a house.

At that time, finding decent jobs was extremely tough, so his dad became a salesman working from door to door. On the other hand, his mother stayed home to look after him and his five siblings.

Facing Life’s Challenges
Allamby and his siblings grew up in unlikely circumstances, just like the other kids in their neighborhood. At times, they had to make do with a lack of water, gas, electricity, and even food.

He didn’t know how life would make his dream come true in the most remarkable manner.

A Childhood Dream
But despite life’s heartrending challenges, Allamby said he had harbored a dream from a very young age — a dream that was extremely close to his heart. He added:

“I remember having a desire at a young age to become a doctor — but my life circumstances led me to a much different place.”

Despite having teachers at school who encouraged him to follow his passions, Allamby said he couldn’t pursue his goals because of the many hardships he faced. As a youngster, he had no choice but to choose survival over his heartfelt dream.

His Family Was His Strength

Moreover, Allamby said the circumstances he grew up in presented him with little exposure and access to resources required to pursue medicine. But through life’s highs and lows, Allamby credited his family’s strong support system as his saving grace.


The Ohio man noted that he and his siblings shared an unshakeable bond and always stood together to weather the darkest storms. He said his mom and dad taught him to work hard for his dreams and goals and to treat people with kindness and respect.

Starting His Business

Allamby said he took the painful decision of pressing pause on his dream at the time. In high school, he began repairing cars at a local shop, which became a part of his daily routine.

Later, Allamby said he started his auto repair business, Allamby’s Auto Service, at 19 to make ends meet. Much to his astonishment, his business grew faster than expected, but he also faced difficulties along the way.

Resuming Education

In 2006, 34-year-old Allamby took the decision to enroll in Ursuline College, Pepper Pike, where he wished to earn a Business degree. But as a part of his course requirement, he had to study an introductory Biology course.

When he took his Biology classes, Allamby said he enjoyed learning about the basic body mechanisms. Moreover, he was also reminded of his childhood dream — something that he had put aside a long time ago.


Pursuing His Dream

In 2010, Allamby began taking pre-med classes at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. He recalled how he was fascinated with the complex working of the human body, which pushed him to keep going.

During this time, he also became a volunteer at a hospital in the Cleveland region, where he worked in a pediatric ward for immune-compromised kids. Allamby said he also worked in neurology, urology, and emergency departments, gaining all the exposure he needed to pursue his passion.

Determined to Make It Happen

Eventually, Allamby got accepted into a program at Cleveland State University. Transitioning from an auto mechanic to a medical student wasn’t easy, but Allamby had massive support from his family, mainly his wife, Kim, who was a physical therapist.

Five years later, in 2015, Allamby enrolled in medical school at Northeast Ohio Medical University. He had to study alongside several young students, but Allamby said he didn’t let his age deter him from achieving his goals.

By this time, Allamby was not only a medical student but also a husband and a dad of four kids. He said he drew inspiration from his years of working as a mechanic to become a compassionate doctor.

A Touching Message

At 47, Allamby finished medical school and began his emergency medicine residency in 2019 at Cleveland Clinic Akron. Finally, in 2022, he started working as an attending physician at Cleveland Clinic’s Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights.

Allamby said that when he saw his two young girls playing doctor one day, he became emotional and was reminded of his aspirations. He didn’t know how life would make his dream come true in the most remarkable manner. About pursuing his favorite profession much later in life, he reflected:

“Nine years is going to pass anyway. So I’d rather be someplace I want to be than someplace I could have been.”

As of September 2022, 51-year-old Allamby has finally become a doctor and values human connection, empathy, and kindness above all else. Looking back on his journey, Allamby advised people to keep a positive attitude, regardless of the roadblocks and struggles.

Comments from Readers

Several people have been inspired by Allamby’s story and have shared their thoughts online:

“That is so awesome. Never give up on your dreams until they are a reality.”
— (@judi.seith) September 21, 2022

“Congratulations. Hard work and determination do pay off. Pat yourself on the back!!!”
— (@mirna.ramos.92167789) September 21, 2022

“A dream is always worth seeking no matter how many other things temporarily get in the way. Congratulations on fulfilling your dream – you are an inspiration to many.”
— (@virginia.ferguson.18) September 20, 2022

Allamby’s thought-provoking life story teaches us that it’s never too late to pursue our dreams and goals, no matter how impossible they seem. Please share this inspiring story with your loved ones.


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