MINNEAPOLIS -- It was an ordinary angiogram in the cardiac cath lab at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. But there was nothing ordinary about the tall technologist scrubbing in as part of the medical team.
"I've got this certain attachment to the hospital for some reason," joked Goffrey Duevel, 31, as he stood with -- or, more accurately at 6 feet 1, above -- several cardiologists, a nurse and lab technician readying the 79-year-old patient for transfer to a recovery room.
Duevel has been intimately familiar with this hospital for more than 25 years. At 5, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system that should have been the worst health challenge of his life. It wasn't. He endured a form of polio at 8, relearned how to walk and then, at 24, was told he had an enlarged heart, due most likely to the chemicals used to save his life as a boy.
After two open-heart surgeries at UMMC in 2007 to insert heart pumps, Duevel received a new heart in 2008. In the fall of 2009, he began studying at St. Cloud Technical and Community College in St. Cloud, Minn., to become a cardiovascular technologist (CVT), a program that includes a 16-week internship.