Lexington man more than a paperboy

Lexington, Ky. (WKYT)- Many times events in our life make us stop and realize how lucky we are.

For a Lexington man surviving a near death experience more than thirty years ago, now has him back at the place where he learned to live again, Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital.

WKYT's Amber Philpott introduces us to the most seasoned paper boy you will find, giving back to a place who gave him so much.

Just like clock work Ruge DeVan walks into Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital each day, its a place he knows well.

"I was a patient here 36 years ago, they carried me in on a stretcher, I was pretty much a vegetable. I had an aneurysm of the brain and stroke," said Ruge DeVan.

DeVan admits he was an ornery patient, but he remembers a cook at Cardinal Hill who reached out.

"I wouldn't eat and she came out of the kitchen singing to me and I would eat."

DeVan recovered and many years later life came full circle when he returned to Cardinal Hill to give back.

"When I retired from the construction industry I became the paperboy at Cardinal Hill and have been for seven years and I'm going to die doing it."

At 72-years-old he rolls his cart down the hall every morning, delivering the daily news to those who might feel cut off from the world around them.

"When they hired me they said could you do it for five days? I said, don't they print newspapers on Saturday and Sunday, I said I'll do it then too!"

DeVan is no ordinary delivery guy, he has fun with it too wearing different costumes for different holidays, including a bunny suit for Easter.

DeVan's daily good deed doesn't go unnoticed by patients.

Patient Ben Ward from Somerset says it's a wonderful thing to have DeVan calling what he does a wonderful service.

Ward says he is thankful for the little pick me up that comes with the delivery of his newspaper each day.

"He doesn't just come in and say here is your paper, he doesn't yell and throw it down he actually brings it over to me so I can have it in bed," said Ben Ward.

DeVan's love for the patients is sincere because it comes from the love he experienced all those years ago.

"There are people just like me around here, I get to talk with them, tell them what it was like and I tell them there is hope and you are in the right place," said DeVan.

When Ruge DeVan first walked in to Cardinal Hill he didn't know if he would walk out.

Now, more than three decades later walking these halls he realizes his stay at Cardinal Hill gave him more than just his life back.

DeVan tells me he walks more than 4,000 steps each day delivering papers, pretty good for a man who suffered another stroke this past summer.

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