Star Tribune | Gail Rosenblum
He returned to school at St. Cloud Technical and Community College, then was hired as a cardiovascular technologist at the University of Minnesota Medical Center-Fairview, working where he spent much of his childhood as a patient.
For the first time, Duevel let himself imagine financial security, marriage and kids and, most daringly, good health.
His dreams are back on hold. Duevel's donor heart is failing. He's on 16 medications and can barely walk up stairs. "This is what transplant life is also like, the darker side," Duevel said, "the fear of never being able to start over or start at all."
Yet Duevel, who relearned to walk at 8, is gathering what little strength he has to fight that fear. Just not here.
Two weeks ago, Duevel said emotional goodbyes to friends and colleagues at the U. On Tuesday, he'll meet his new transplant team at Tampa General Hospital, and endure again the physical and psychological rigors of waiting for the call.
"Are you OK with this?" Duevel asked his longtime cardiologist, Dr. Peter Eckman, at his final U checkup in early June.