Doctor explains how boy can survive being thrown from Mall of America balcony
(FOX 9) - Earlier this month, five-year-old Landen was thrown from the third floor of the Mall of America, suffering serious injuries. Though the boy has been recovering well, he still has a long road ahead.
A Minnesota doctor who has helped many children with traumatic injuries shared her opinion on the boy's case.
Landen's pastor recently told the community that the boy's MRI results amazed doctors, showing no signs of brain damage or swelling. The astounding news of his progress is shocking, but Dr. Angela Sinner, a pediatric rehab physician at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, said full recovery is certainly possible.
"A child that has a significant fall and has not sustained a brain injury likely absorbed the impact of that fall in other parts of the body," she explained.
Dr. Sinner has not treated Landen, but has cared for many children his age who've suffered traumatic injuries from falls and car accidents.
"That fall and the force of impact on the body can have a significant impact on the injuries sustained for a child," Dr. Sinner said.
The boy's pastor, Mac Hammond, said Landen did suffer some internal bleeding and broken bones--especially in his face--but, major body parts like his head and spinal cord are intact.
Dr. Sinner said factors like the height of the fall and the surface they land on all contribute to the severity of the injury. She also notes his age works in his favor.
"Children have softer bones - essentially, a lot of cartilage very early when they're babies. Growing and developing, more of the harder bone is laid down and formed and they have more flexibility, so they can sustain some of the impact of a force."
The family released a statement Tuesday saying in part, "We have an important week ahead with more milestones to accomplish. God's hand is working. Your prayers are working. Our son remains in intensive care under sedation and close monitoring as we stay patient to allow him to heal."
The suspect who threw the boy, 24-year-old Emmanuel Aranda, is charged with first degree attempted premeditated murder.
Meanwhile, the GoFundMe set up for Landen has reached more than $970,000 with a $1 million goal.