One of those posts came from comedian Patton Oswalt, whose critical tweet about President Trump pushed Beatty over the edge.
In an interview Thursday, Beatty said he didn’t think Oswalt would ever read his replies. But the comedian responded before taking things a step further — pointing his 4.5 million followers toward Beatty’s GoFundMe account, created to help cover his medical expenses.
Oswalt donated $2,000 to the fund, which had previously accumulated just over $600. In a sudden outpouring of support, the donations began pouring in.
The fund had accumulated more than $21,000 as of Thursday evening.
Aw, man. 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. I’d be pissed off too. He’s been dealt some shitty cards — let’s deal him some good ones. Click and donate — just like I’m about to. https://t.co/6zRdZ430WG— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) January 24, 2019
“I would never have [imagined this] based on what I tweeted to him, Beatty said. “If anything, I expected a scathing retort or just to be ignored, but that’s not what happened.”
Beatty, who says he is living off his retirement check, said he became sick after not properly treating his diabetes. He developed sepsis and diabetic ketoacidosis, serious complications from his diabetes that nearly killed him in December. Beatty fell into an eight-day coma during his extended hospital stay and is now recovering, he said — but needed help paying medical bills that were starting to trickle in.
Enter Oswalt, whose generosity helped transform Beatty’s acidic remarks into compassionate prose:
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. Thank you for this and I will pass this on to my cousin who needs help. A cascade. pic.twitter.com/6Is7KflPeY— Michael Beatty (@MichaelBeatty) January 24, 2019
The two continued their banter, with Oswalt joking that he’d take away his donation because Beatty showed emotion. The man said he hoped to attend one of Oswalt’s shows if the comedian ever performed in his area.
Beatty said the positive replies he’s received from people of various creeds and political affiliations have meant just as much as the donations. He’s tried to reply to everyone he can, he said, and the once-staunch Trump supporter said experience has shifted his perspective.
“After today, I tend to think I’m a tempered Republican,” he said, adding he wants to abandon the “sheeplike” mind-set he’s adopted, which has caused him to judge people based on what they believe.
“I’m having to reevaluate some of the things I’ve gone along with,” he said. “The biggest thing I learned about [Oswalt] is that he is a man of character.”
I want to thank everyone who came to my aid with generous outpourings- and also to @pattonoswalt without whom I would not be the recipient of so much love and support. I'm not a man who ever cries but I had to wait to send this. And to quote Stuart on Big Bang "meat tonight"! pic.twitter.com/r4Kc9zYk7E— Michael Beatty (@MichaelBeatty) January 24, 2019