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A Twitter troll attacked Patton Oswalt, then the star changed the man's life

A Twitter troll got an unexpected lesson in humility and generosity after he bashed comedian Patton Oswalt on the social media platform this week. The actor surprised Michael Beatty with an act of kindness he'll never forget — helping to pay the man's medical expenses. 

Like many interactions that go sour on Twitter, this one started with politics. After Oswalt tweeted a vulgar rhyme about President Trump, Beatty responded, "I just realized why I was so happy you died in Blade Trinity!"

Oswalt countered with humor, but as he read more of the man's Twitter feed, the Emmy-winning entertainer realized the myriad health problems Beatty was dealing with. He decided to do something about it.

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Patton Oswalt CBS News

"This dude just attacked me on Twitter and I joked back but then I looked at his timeline and he's in a LOT of trouble health-wise," Oswalt tweeted. "I'd be pissed off too. He's been dealt some s***** cards — let's deal him some good ones. Click and donate — just like I'm about to."

On a GoFundMe page, Beatty, a Vietnam veteran, described a recent two-week stay at a hospital where he was battling sepsis and struggles with diabetes. He needed $5,000 to offset medical costs. Oswalt responded by paying $2,000 from his own pocket and encouraged others to donate too. Within 24 hours, the online campaign had more than $35,000. 

Beatty expressed his gratitude on Twitter, reflecting on how to be better.

"Patton. You have humbled me to the point where I can barely compose my words. You have caused me to take pause and reflect on how harmful words from my mouth could result in such an outpouring," he wrote. "Thank you for this and I will pass this on to my cousin who needs help. A cascade."