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Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office honors two quick-thinking men who saved a fellow diner at a café this fall

WILLMAR -- Two friends out for breakfast at the same restaurant where a man collapsed were described as "miracles" by the man's wife. On Tuesday, the heroic actions of Justin Klein and Luke Cruze were celebrated during the Kandiyohi County Board ...

Mark and Pam Peterson with Justin Klein and Luke Cruze
Pam Peterson, right, laughs as her husband, Mark, jokes with the two men who saved his life this fall by performing CPR on him after he collapsed from cardiac arrest in a restaurant. Justin Klein, left, and Luke Cruze were given life-saving awards Tuesday during the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners meeting.

WILLMAR - Two friends out for breakfast at the same restaurant where a man collapsed were described as “miracles” by the man’s wife.
On Tuesday, the heroic actions of Justin Klein and Luke Cruze were celebrated during the Kandiyohi County Board meeting when the men received life-saving awards from the Sheriff’s Office and hugs from the man they saved.
“I’ve never seen an angel before and here’s two of them,” said Mark Peterson, of Atwater, in a light-hearted moment after the brief ceremony at the Health and Human Services Building. “Turn around and show her your wings.”
Klein, 30, and Cruze, 29 - both of Willmar - were commended for their quick actions when Peterson experienced cardiac arrest while having breakfast with his wife, Pam, on Sept. 28 at the Sunray Café.
According to Sheriff Dan Hartog, when Peterson “tipped over dead” on the restaurant floor, Cruze and Klein quickly jumped up from their seats in the diner and began performing CPR until the ambulance arrived.
Because of their immediate actions, “Mark is with us here today,” Hartog said.
Cruze and Klein, who said they have been buddies since pre-school, had been duck hunting earlier that day and took a break for breakfast.
They saw Mark Peterson slump to the floor and heard Pam call for help.
The two, who are members of the Kandiyohi County Rescue Squad and have kept current with their CPR training, didn’t hesitate to help.
Cruze did the chest compressions and Klein did the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
In the flurry of activity, Pam Peterson said there was no time to get the names of the men who rescued her husband and because of confidentiality issues, it took time for the identities to be shared.
Tuesday was the first time the Petersons had come face-to-face with Cruze and Klein since the Sept. 28 incident.

In a prepared statement that was read during the ceremony, Pam Peterson said she has told many people about the “strangers who just happened to be there and selflessly and willingly came to Mark’s aid.”
She said doctors told her that without the quick response of CPR, Mark would likely not have survived or, at best, would have lived in a vegetative state.
“Not only did you give Mark back his life that day, but you also saved my life because Mark is my life,” read Peterson.
Doctors called Mark “miracle man,” but she said it’s Cruze and Klein who are the miracles.
She said there are “no words” to adequately thank the men for their actions.
“But I want you to know I think about you every single day and I thank God for you every single day,” she said. “You are our heroes and we will never forget you.”

Related Topics: ATWATERKANDIYOHI
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