Dayton's Bluff beating victim holds head high at benefit - KMSP-TV

Dayton's Bluff beating victim holds head high at benefit

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MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (KMSP) -

Ray Widstrand's family told FOX 9 News he is a living miracle. It's been two months since he was severely beaten in St. Paul. Now, after two brain surgeries and more to come, he's aiming to make a full recovery.

"It's been trying at times, but it's also been a learning experience for me," Widstrand said.

Widstrand shares first hand what life has been like since he was severely beaten on Aug. 4 by a group of five men in St. Paul as he walked home from work in the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood.

"No memory... I didn't even know I got beaten up, until the next day," he said.

Widstrand's parents Peter and Linda Widstrand say he's undergone two brain surgeries since then and has a cranioplasty scheduled next month.

A father remaining strong, and a mother grateful she still has her son by her side.

"It's unbelievable -- I'm really glad I do," Linda Widstrand said.

But the road to recovery is expected to be a long one in her son's case.

"I mean, what's the cost of one brain surgery? I can't even imagine," colleague and friend Judy Skeie-Voss said.

At the Goodrich Golf Dome, Widstrand's colleagues at Suburban Community Channels gathered Saturday to take part in a silent auction, enjoy food and miniature golf all to raise money that will help pay for his medical care.

Widstrand plans to move out of his current rehab center on Dec. 1.

"Moving somewhere, moving on to the next thing," he said.

"He's not able to walk on his own, he's coming a long way but he has a long way to go," Skeie-Voss said.

Still, as he interacts with those he knows and loves - Widstrand remains assured and shares a few goals he hopes to accomplish soon.

"Speaking slowly, articulating, speaking loudly -- and that's the speech. There's also physical, balance, driving," he noted.

He says one day, he'll be able to get back to life as usual.

"We hope to do the best that we can raising funds for Ray, but ultimately, people, don't forget about Ray. Keep praying for Ray, he needs those prayers to lift him up," Skeie-Voss said.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

If you'd like to help the Widstrand family tackle those mounting medical bills you can visit any Wells Fargo bank and simply tell the teller you're dropping of a donation for Ray's fund.

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