Five-year-old Landen Hoffman is now walking seven months after being thrown from a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.
On April 12, Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, a stranger to the Hoffman family, picked Landen up and tossed him over a nearby railing. Landen fell nearly 40 feet.
Aranda said he had gone to the mall “looking for someone to kill.”
Landen sustained life-threatening injuries, including severe head trauma, a stomach wound, as well as multiple broken bones in his arm and legs. He underwent 15 medical procedures during the first two months following the attack.
After intense physical therapy, Landen returned home in August, but walked with a limp. Now three months later, “he is now walking perfectly with even legs,” posted family friend Noah Hanneman on the family’s GoFundMe page. “The wound has finally scabbed over and new skin is growing. We are still optimistic he will be off some of his medications soon.”
Landen’s positivity throughout his recovery has inspired people around the world.
“He loves being back in school and going to kindergarten at the same school his twin brother and sister go to,” Hanneman relayed. “He gets out of the car every morning happy and blows kisses all the way in!
“He’s a strong, happy boy. When his mommy asks him if she can look at his wound or asks how he’s doing, he always responds with, ‘Mom, I’m healed, you don’t need to ask me anymore.’
“Landen loves life and Jesus! He tells people all the time when they get hurt, ‘Don’t worry, I fell off a cliff, but angels caught me and Jesus loves me. I’m OK and you will be too.’”
“Even at such a young age, Landen’s testimony and faith are touching many—great job Landen!” posted Franklin Graham on Facebook. “The Word of God says, ‘Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it’ (Luke 18:17).”
Aranda plead guilty to attempted murder in June and was sentenced to 19 years in prison.
The Hoffmans did not attend Aranda’s hearing but have said they forgive him and continue to pray for him.
To date, Landen’s GoFundMe page has raised over $1 million to cover the cost of ongoing medical treatments and rehabilitation programs.
Above: Pedestrian walkways at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Photo: John Eccles/Alamy Stock Photo