Back in April, 5-year-old Landen Hoffman was thrown from the third-floor balcony at the Mall of America, while innocently standing outside the Rainforest Café.
Twenty-four-year-old Emmanuel Aranda of Minneapolis was charged with attempted premeditated first-degree murder after snatching the boy away from his mother and tossing him off the 40-foot drop.
In spite of taking a plunge that could have killed him, doctors reported that Landen was actually doing much better than expected just weeks later. Medical staff chalked it up to a “miracle.”
“Doctors said they found no brain damage — not even any swelling,” Landen’s pastor, Mac Hammond, told church congregants on Easter. “No spinal damage, no nerve damage … doctors are saying it is truly a miracle.”
An MRI revealed Landen did suffer head trauma, and many broken bones, including fractures on his arm, leg, and face. He also needed to have his spleen removed.
But seven months after the tragic accident, the 5-year-old miracle boy is continuing to recover by leaps and bounds and has even started walking!
On a November 22nd update posted on Landen’s GoFundMe page, the family shared he is improving from physical therapy and walking evenly on both of his legs ‘perfectly.’
He also returned to school with his brother and sister.
“He loves being back to school and goes to kindergarten,” the page read. “He gets out of the car every morning happy and blows kisses all the way in! 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 check] me anymore.'”
Landen’s mother wrote that her son is strong, happy and has the kindest of hearts.
With a wisdom clearly beyond his five years, the boy also credits his miracle recovery to Jesus.
“Landen loves life and Jesus!” she wrote. “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, so I’m ok and you will be too!’”
Thus far, $1,054,770 has been raised toward the family’s $1 million goal to help cover medical expenses.
“Landen knows people all over the world are praying for him and he loves all the cards he keeps getting in the mail,” the family shared in an update. “His whole family feels the love and are so grateful for the prayers and people like you who care so much about others! Thank you so much for praying us home and please continue to pray for complete recovery as we are still healing!”
Aranda has since been sentenced for his crime and will serve 19 years in prison. Landen’s family reportedly didn’t attend his hearing, but they said they’ve forgiven him and will keep him in their prayers.