Ray Villeda, NBC 5 News
Derek Madrigal was attacked on South Padre Island while defending the honor of a female friend.
Almost two months after 21-year-old Derek Madrigal was attacked during a Spring Break trip on South Padre Island, he feels life is getting back to normal.
The Brookhaven College student has been able to meet one of the two men who came to his rescue.
In a graphic video of his attack, you can see as he’s hit with coolers. Madrigal was stabbed nine times.
He said two men came to rescue, Fabian Ortega and Diego Vargas. In the video, you can see as Fabian steps in.
“What you don’t see is Diego carries me away, all I remember is a big red shirt carrying me away,” said Madrigal.
Now, back home, he was able to meet Diego at a family gathering.
“I said, 'Thank you. God bless that you would actually stand up for me, and do that for me.'”
Madrigal started working again at his part-time job at a nearby pet supplies store. He’ll start up physical therapy soon.
“My right hand -- I can grip all my fingers, my left hand I can’t grip my thumb or index fingers,” he demonstrated.
He’ll resume classes in a few months, and thinks he may become a physical therapist or coach in the future.
“It’s kind of like I’m starting from ground zero, a fresh new start, ready to get back to all normal things,” he said.