The parents of a 5-year-old boy who was thrown from a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America said they are rejoicing in "the Lord's blessing" while announcing their son has returned home five months after the near-fatal attack.
The family of Landen Hoffman announced on GoFundMe — which has raised over $1 million — that their son has completed inpatient rehabilitation and is now home. He will enter “the next phase of recovery” and receive outpatient rehabilitation for “multiple injuries and adjusting to life back at home and school.”
Landen’s family thanked those who have prayed for them over the last five months, adding: “You helped to give us hope and show us the Glory of God’s great love here on earth even during the darkest of days.”
“We are so thankful, and we rejoice in the Lord’s blessings to our family,” reads the update. “We continue to ask that His healing powers guide us and our son’s care team as we enter the next phase of recovery, which includes continued outpatient rehabilitation for multiple injuries and adjusting to life back at home and school.”
In August, the Hoffman family announced that Landen was moved from the hospital’s intensive care unit into a rehabilitation program. The young boy sustained severe head trauma and multiple broken bones in his arms and legs after being thrown from the third floor of the Minnesota mall by Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 25.
Despite the severity of the fall, Landen has continued to make great strides in his recovery: “While the miracle of his survival is what we celebrate and thank Jesus for every day, we must also acknowledge that our beautiful boy has been on a very challenging road to recovery,” the family wrote in an earlier update.
Aranda was charged with attempted premeditated murder in the April 12 crime. He allegedly told investigators he went to the mall “looking for someone to kill” after past instances of women repeatedly rejecting his advances. Aranda pleaded guilty in May and was sentenced to 19 years in prison.
Statements from the boy’s parents were read aloud during proceedings, with both stating their Christian faith compelled them 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 some day and I have peace with that,” the mother added. “I hand it off to Him and you will take none of my thoughts ever again. I am done with you.”