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Woman overcomes obstacles to take part in Heart Run

By Dave Leval Photojournalist: Dave Leval - 9:01 PM April 20, 2017
Anchorage –

Phyllis Kruger is a pretty positive person. “You have to make it matter, you have to wake up every day, you have to challenge yourself every day to do something,” the Anchorage native told KTVA.

“You have to make it matter, you have to wake up every day, you have to challenge yourself every day to do something,” the Anchorage native said.

Kruger’s life changed when she collapsed on a Phoenix, Arizona, golf course on April 8, 2003.

“Turns out I had a blockage of 99 percent,” said Kruger, as she recalled her first heart attack.

She came home for surgery, and it turned out to be a tough year for her.

“I’ve had five angioplasties, two stents and an open heart surgery,” Kruger said.

Then came a nine-pound tumor that had to be removed from her stomach.

“I thought it was never going to end. I thought I was going to die,” Kruger feared.

She knew things had to change.

Kruger uses a treadmill as part of her daily routine, as she takes 10,000 steps en route to 48 miles a month.

It’s estimated 525,000 people around the country will experience their first heart attack each year. Another 210,000 people will experience at least a second heart attack.

Kruger changed her diet, which also helps in the recovery. So does a positive attitude.

“You just have to be more energized and do things that are important to you because you never know if it’ll be your last day. Celebrate every day,” said Phyllis Kruger, who has done that since her first heart attack 14 years ago.

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