Boy Thrown from Mall Balcony Released from ICU

Parents give credit to Jesus, prayers of supporters

Five-year-old Landen Hoffman who was thrown from a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, in April has been moved from the intensive care unit, and his parents are giving Jesus Christ the credit.

“The Lord is good, and we are thankful,” wrote Landen’s parents on a GoFundMe page organized by family friends to offset medical costs for the Hoffmans. “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 shown us throughout this journey.”

On April 12, Landen was thrown over the railing of a third-floor balcony by 24-year-old Emmanuel Aranda. Aranda said he was “looking for someone to kill,” and had planned to push an adult from the balcony, but instead chose the 5-year-old at random.

Landen suffered two broken arms, a broken leg and fractures to his face and skull from the nearly 40-foot fall. He has undergone more than 15 separate medical procedures, including the removal of his spleen, treatment for fluid found in his lungs and stomach, as well as the placement of a stent in a vein that runs through his liver.

In a Facebook update, the family wrote: “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.”

Given his numerous injuries, doctors are surprised that Landen survived at all. “This is truly a miracle,” said one of his attending physicians. “It’s like he fell off of a bicycle instead of off the third floor of the mall.”

On June 3, Aranda was sentenced to 19 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder. Although the Hoffmans did not attend the hearing, both parents wrote statements that were read during the court proceedings.

“Our family serves a mighty God who is faithful to His people, a God who intends to protect and save,” wrote Landen’s father. “A God whose will is perfect and makes all things work for the good of those that love Him. You intended evil that day, but God works all for good. … Landen is a witness to God’s divine interaction in our lives for all the world to see. Our boy was saved that day in a miraculous way as testimony to the goodness and greatness of God. And because of that miracle, God is being glorified, and His Name is being magnified throughout the earth.”

The traumatized parents even went as far as to express their forgiveness to the man who meant death for their son: “I want you to know I forgive you,” wrote Landen’s mother. “Not because what you did was OK, not because I want to, but because God wants me to.”

People around the world have rallied behind Landen and his family. As of Wednesday morning, Landen’s GoFundMe page had surpassed its $1 million goal, with 29,000 people donating.