New tests show the 5-year-old boy who was hurled over a third-story balcony at the Mall of America shows no signs of brain damage after the nearly 40-foot drop to the ground.
The boy’s doctors are calling the discovery “truly a miracle,” according to the family’s pastor Mac Hammond.
Hammond told parishioners the good news about the 5-year-old during his Easter sermon after the boy’s grandfather had called to report the findings from a five-hour MRI, WCCO reports.
“There was zero evidence of brain damage,” Hammond said, according to comments posted on the Living Word Christian Center’s Facebook page. “There wasn’t even any swelling in the brain. No spinal cord injury, no nerve damage, no internal injuries that were life threatening.”
According to Hammond, physicians said the boy’s injuries appeared more “like he fell off a bicycle instead of the third floor of a mall.”
The young boy had been shopping with his mother when a man, who investigators later identified as Emmanuel Aranda, 24, allegedly walked up and threw the child over the railing.
The boy suffered multiple broken bones in the fall, Hammond said.
The news from the MRI comes just days after the child’s family issued a statement through their attorney, Stephen Tillitt, saying the 5-year-old was “showing real signs of recovery” after the devastating fall, according to MPR News.
“New test results have been positive, though he remains in intensive care with a long road ahead,” the statement said.
The family also thanked the public for the support and prayers the boy has received in the days after the attack.
“Just know that we absolutely feel your overwhelming love, prayers and support for they seem to be working,” they said.
A GoFundMe account started for the family by a friend had raised more than $964,000 for the family by Tuesday afternoon.
“Landen has a very long road to recovery ahead of him. He suffered life threatening injuries, many people who fall from that distance aren’t as lucky to make it,” the donation page states. “He has many surgeries ahead in his life to try to get back to a normal life for a young, vibrant boy.”
Shortly after the April 12 attack, investigators arrested Aranda and charged him with attempted first-degree murder.
He allegedly told investigators that he had gone to the mall “looking for someone to kill” because he was angry about being rejected by women at the mall in the past, The Twin Cities Pioneer Press reports.
He is currently being held in jail on a $2 million bond.
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