The parents of a 5-year-old boy who was thrown from a third-floor balcony at Mall of America are praising God after announcing their son has left intensive care and remains “strong” and “vibrant” despite the life-threatening fall.
Landen Hoffman has moved out of intensive care as he continues to recover from the extensive injuries he incurred when Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, threw him nearly 40 feet from a third-floor balcony during an April 12 attack at the mall, his family revealed in an update posted on GoFundMe on Friday.
“The Lord is good, and we are thankful,” Noah Hanneman wrote late Thursday in an online fundraiser that has generated more than $1 million in donations from nearly 30,000 people. “We are happy to report that our son is no longer in intensive care and has been moved to an inpatient, physical rehab program at another hospital to help him continue to heal and focus on the next phase of his recovery."
“There is hard work ahead! And, our beautiful boy has endured much already, but he is strong and his spirit remains vibrant. We continue to be eternally grateful for every prayer, every act of kindness and the love this world has show us throughout this journey."
In June, Landen’s family announced the little boy was on a “very challenging road to recovery” after enduring two broken arms, a broken leg and fractures to his face and skull. More than 15 medical procedures or surgeries were required as a result of the random attack, including treatment for fluid in Landen's lungs and stomach and a stent in a vein running through his liver.
Still, the family’s pastor revealed that there has been “zero evidence of brain damage” despite the magnitude of the fall.
“No spinal cord injury, no nerve damage, no internal injuries that were life-threatening,” the pastor said in April. “There was some small internal bleeding that had to be addressed.”
“One of his attending physicians said this: ‘This is truly a miracle. It’s like he fell off a bicycle instead of off the third floor of the mall,’” he added.
According to authorities, Aranda flung the boy over the railing after choosing him at random because he was "looking to kill someone" at the mall. He said he had planned to kill an adult standing near the railing, but picked the young victim instead, according to the criminal complaint.
Aranda was sentenced to 19 years in prison in June after pleading guilty to attempted murder a month earlier.
Statements from the boy’s parents were read out during proceedings, with both stating they had chosen to forgive Aranda for his actions.
“Your act was evil and selfish, you chose to listen to the worst parts of yourself that day,” the boy’s father expressed in his statement. “You chose evil over good and chose to take your hate and hurt out on my precious boy. I want you to know that I forgive you, not because what you did was OK, not because I want to, but because God wants me to.”
“I’m not letting you take any part of my family: You’re not taking our love, our joy, our peace. You’re not taking anything ... That is where your impact on us stops, you will take nothing more from us.”
In her statement, Landen’s mother also said she forgave Aranda because she believes God expects her to.
“You chose to think about yourself that day, what you were feeling and wanted to do to someone else,” Landen’s mother said in a separate statement read by the prosecutor. “I’m sad you chose anger and hatred.”
“God will judge you someday and I have peace with that,” the mother stated. “I hand it off to Him and you will take none of my thoughts ever again. I am done with you.”