A Burnsville man survived 20 stab wounds and his house being set on fire and in the process managed to help his neighbors get to safety. He is now being recognized with the Special Courage Award in Washington, D.C.

Paul Traub was sleeping in his four plex in May of 2008 when he awoke and realized that there were people robbing his house. The assailants stabbed Paul 20 times; 17 in the back, twice in the head and once in the face. Then they said to him, "I hope you know you're going to die, because I just stabbed you in the head." They then turned on the gas, set his bed on fire and left him for dead.

Paul brought himself to his feet, walked through a wall of flames and then proceeded to wake up his neighbors and help them to safety.

Paul's attack was chronicled on the Lifetime TV series I Survived and Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom nominated Paul for the Special Courage Award, presented by The Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime. The award is meant to recognize recipients for "extraordinary bravery in the aftermath of a crime or courageous act on behalf of a victim or potential victim.”James said that Paul's attack was one of the most brutal in Dakota County history. Paul says he does not know why the attack was so violent because the burglary was a random crime.

Even though Paul nearly bled to death, he was able to provide very vivid details to investigators, which led to the arrests and conviction of the two men responsible. Paul is hoping that his attackers are rehabilitated in prison and is grateful for all of the help and support he recieved that night and in the years since.

Congratulations to Paul. After surviving an attack of my own, I don't know if I would want an award on my wall to remind me daily. The fear and bad dreams are reminder enough for me.

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