ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A young man who was nearly beaten to death two months ago says the community’s support has carried him through.

Raymond Widstrand, 26, was walking on Payne Avenue in St. Paul when he was brutally attacked by a group of people.

He suffered protracted loss of brain function, and doctors weren’t sure if he was going to live.

Widstrand’s now taking it day-by-day in the hospital, where he reads hundreds of comments from strangers on his CaringBridge site.

On Sunday, he said his outlook on life has changed from his experience.

“You can’t live in fear, and you can’t live afraid of what some bad apples will do to the mixture,” Widstrand said. “Just be positive and you can overcome and be stronger.”

Widstrand will have reconstructive surgery on his head, which will be the last surgery before he gets to go home.

Nineteen-year-old Issac Maiden was charged in August with five separate crimes in connection with the attack.


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