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Purple Heart bestowed on Kralicek; 4 officers get lifesaving awards

Wed., July 27, 2005, midnight

A Coeur d’Alene police officer recovering from an almost-fatal injury received a Purple Heart in a private ceremony at the Police Department on Tuesday.

Mike Kralicek was shot in the jaw by a DUI suspect Dec. 28, 2004. Bullet fragments damaged his spinal cord, and the loss of blood caused a stroke. After awaking from a two-week coma, Kralicek has spent the past few months having his jaw rebuilt and undergoing physical and occupational therapy.

This is Kralicek’s second Purple Heart. He received his first from the Denver Police Department while he was receiving care at a local hospital noted for its rehabilitation treatment.

Four other police officers were honored at the ceremony for saving Kralicek’s life. Chief Wendy Carpenter and Kralicek presented lifesaving awards to Deputies Hank Cooper, Rich Lyon, Jack McAvoy and Sgt. Andy Boyle.

“I am convinced after talking to Kootenai Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center that this fine officer is sitting here today because of the lifesaving efforts you made at the scene,” Carpenter said to the officers at the ceremony, according to a statement released by the department. To Kralicek, she said: “You are a fighter who refuses to give up, you have a strong will, I am very proud of you, and as far as I am concerned you will always be a member of the Coeur d’Alene Police Department.”

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