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Grand Forks wife beats husband to life, wins award

Sharon Krueger listens as her husband, Paul Krueger, reads from a plaque he had made honoring her for her lifesaving efforts until help arrived after he had a heart attack last May. John Stennes / Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS - Sharon Krueger of Grand Forks won an award Wednesday for saving the life of her longtime love, Paul Krueger.

She won it by hitting him very hard for a long time, she said.

Sharon and several others, including a police officer who gave Paul CPR, were honored at the Grand Forks Police Department's annual awards ceremony.

It was May 10 and Sharon was visiting with friend Tammy Rodacker on the Kruegers' deck while Paul pushed the mower around the lawn.

The two women noticed the mower wasn't moving and found Paul lying in the grass. He had a history of heart problems, so Sharon knew what had happened.

But she had no training in CPR.

"I didn't know what I was doing," she said Wednesday. "I just literally beat the living (crap) out of him."

Her husband of 39 years came around a little, she said.

But it was perhaps 10 minutes before police Officer Louis Christoffer arrived, she said.

Christoffer said Paul looked bad.

The young officer began the practiced CPR that resulted in Paul's full revival later at Altru Hospital.

Christoffer received a life-saving award Wednesday from police Chief John Packett.

But first, Paul Krueger surprised Sharon with a plaque of her own.

"Because if she hadn't done that, I wouldn't be here today," he said with a quivering voice.

He was black-and-blue all over for days from the beating she gave him on the lawn, he said.

Since then, he has had a new heart valve installed and a double bypass done and was in the hospital this week for some more work.

Things look good, he said.

Packett told a packed room Wednesday: "Due to Sharon's quick reactions and calm thinking, she saved Paul's life."

Packett himself won an award: He was one of a few officers recognized for scoring a perfect 100 in firearms proficiency tests.