LAKE ORION, Mich. (FOX 2) - Ever wanted to see what true joy looks like? Look no further than Tyler Krueger's return to class.
With a crowd of friends and teachers cheering him on, Krueger charges towards the group of onlookers. His first embrace is with behaviorist and social worker Rob McClellan - one of his favorites.
The 24-year-old made his emotional return to the Pine Tree Center in Lake Orion after a heart transplant in September.
"So you have a new heart now, and that makes you happy?" he's asked.
He smiles, with a slight nod. Yes.
You'd be mistaken in thinking this was trial No. 1 for Krueger however. He's been beating the odds since he was a baby. Born with down syndrome, he's found success in many forms of life. He communicates without many words, competes in special olympics and hunts with his dad.
"I don't think there's words for that would...I don't think there are words that are big enough that explain what that gift has meant to my family and Tyler," said his dad, 'Buster' Krueger.
Struggles don't stop with the genetic disorder he's born with however. An unrelated virus that causes his heart to fail complicated life later on. In response, he received a heart pump. He wore the piece of equipment until learning he qualified for a heart transplant at Henry Ford Hospital. That gift his dad is referencing is a new heart.
In the fall he received that transplant. Now in the spring, he's hugging his friends at school.