Badly Beaten Dallas Student Begins Recovery

Derek Madrigal was beaten and stabbed on South Padre Island

By Ray Villeda and Reginald Hardwick
|  Monday, Mar 26, 2012  |  Updated 8:30 AM CDT
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Badly Beaten Dallas Student Begins Recovery

Friends of Derek Madrigal said the 21-year-old was defending a girl's honor when as many as 10 men jumped him Saturday afternoon on a South Padre Island beach.

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A 21-year-old college student attacked on South Padre Island literally made a step in his recovery on Sunday.  The father of Derek Madrigal told NBC that his son began walking Sunday for the first time since the violence.

Derek was beaten and stabbed on South Padre Island during spring break. He was stabbed nine times and has a collapsed lung. He remains at a hospital in Harlingen. 

Frank Madrigal told NBC 5's Ray Villeda that his son lost 32 pounds in seven days because of his injuries.

He is waiting for doctors to clear his son to travel back to Dallas. A full recovery is expected.

Friends said Derek was defending a girl's honor when as many as 10 men jumped him.

Fabian Ortega, an Army veteran who just returned from Iraq, helped pull Derek Madrigan to safety from the crowd that injured him. Last week, Ortega spoke exclusively with NBC 5.

The family told NBC 5 that it is touched by an outpouring of support from the community.

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