Not any more

Man tortured ‘every single day’ in Calgary for over a year hopes to resettle to Victoria

In Canada on August 30, 2010 at 19:41

A 26-year-old torture victim says he was beaten "every single day" before being dropped off at a Regina hospital mutilated, emaciated and brain-damaged.

But after more than four months in hospital and rehabilitation, the man at the centre of a gruesome Calgary case that has made headlines across Western Canada says he "can’t wait" to fly today to Victoria, where he will live with his mother.

Evidence of the brutal assaults — which police say happened in Calgary between Dec. 1, 2008, and March 2, 2010 — was apparent as soon as the victim was dumped at the hospital in April.

He weighed only 90 pounds and had a horrific range of injuries: his face was smashed and his lower lip and part of his tongue were reportedly missing.

"It has been way too much healing for me," the man, who isn’t being named, said Sunday. "I just can’t wait to get out. I’ve been here for such a long time."

In the past four months, the man has gone from needing help with everyday tasks to being able to shave and eat on his own, speak clearly and move with the help of a walker, so long as a nurse is present. He is also back up to a normal body weight as he nears 200 pounds.

His face is fuller now than it appeared in photos taken when he first arrived in hospital, and the distant, glassy look in his eyes is gone.

"I’m healing quicker than everybody else would think," he said. "I just heal fast, I guess. It’s motivation and hard work. They don’t ever have enough hard work for me to do. Maybe that’s because I used to be a workaholic."

Dustin Ward Paxton, the man’s former roommate, was arrested Tuesday in Edmonton and appeared before a Calgary judge via closed-circuit TV on Friday.

Paxton is charged with aggravated assault, forcible confinement and sexual assault.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Friday.

The victim said he was relieved to hear of an arrest.

Since word of his story started to spread, support has poured in for the victim — a Facebook group has drawn nearly 50,000 members and he said he regularly receives cards and well-wishes from people he has never met.

Now the man plans to continue his recovery at his mother’s Victoria home.

While there are no set time-lines as to when he might start living more independently, he said he is happy to take this first step.

"It’s all I hear is hospital care, hospital care," he said, adding he can’t wait to get back to working and eventually wants to start his own landscaping company.

He said his family has been a constant source of support, travelling from Manitoba and B.C. for visits in Regina.

"They have been very important," he said. "They’ve been with me and stuck through this thing through the whole time, which blows my mind."

He also credited the nurses for his quick recovery.

The man hopes his story might now help others who are recovering from trauma.

"You just have to work hard and give everything 100 per cent," he said.

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

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