Some of you may have never heard the name Paul Krause. I remember him as a professional football player during my childhood. He played in the NFL, with the Minnesota Vikings for 16 years; from 1964 to 1979. From the safety position, he led the league in interceptions as a rookie and still holds the career record for interceptions in the NFL, with eighty-one. Eight times he was voted to the Pro Bowl and is considered one of the best to ever play his position. In 1998 he was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
However, his greatest challenge in life did not occur on a football field but in his response to the automobile accident his wife of thirty-five years suffered on October 5, 1995. Pam Krause was in a coma for five years after suffering a brain stem injury and several broken bones on the left side of her body, including facial bones, ribs, pelvis, and vertebrae.
Former Vikings teammate Wally Hilgenburg recently said, “I have gained so much more respect and admiration for Paul over the past several years for what he has done as a husband, father, and provider for Pam. He has proven himself a true Hall of Famer based on how he has handled everything.” Pam Krause survived the accident and is still alive today. Krause credits his strength to his faith in God: “When the doctors tell you that they do not know if she will live . . . that is not giving you any hope. But I never thought she would die. That is my belief in God, hoping that he would give me strength through all of it.”