Boy thrown from Mall of America balcony still in intensive care, having 'challenging road to recovery'

The boy's attacker was sentenced to 19 years in prison earlier this month.
Image: Mall of America
The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, on Oct. 14, 2018.Raymond Boyd / Getty Images file

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By Elisha Fieldstadt

The 5-year-old boy who was thrown over a third-floor railing at the Mall of America has endured a "challenging road to recovery," and hasn't left intensive care since the random attack in April, his family said in a statement.

Landen, from Woodbury, Minnesota, has undergone more than 15 medical procedures and surgeries after the 40-foot fall left him with severe head trauma and broken bones, his family said in a statement posted Tuesday on a GoFundMe campaign set up to help cover medical expenses.

Landen has had surgeries on his broken arms and leg, procedures to remove fluid from his lungs and stomach, treatments for facial and skull fractures, surgery to remove his spleen and a stent placed in a vein that runs through his liver, the statement said. The family said they don't know when the young boy will be able to return home.

Emmanuel Aranda listens during his sentencing at Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on June 3, 2019. Aranda pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted murder after throwing a 5-year-old boy over a railing at the Mall of America in April.Elizabeth Flores / Star Tribune via AP

"It has been so hard for our young son and our family. Up until now, we have let our hopes govern what we have revealed to the public," the family's statement said. "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."

Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, was sentenced to 19 years in prison earlier this month for the attack after pleading guilty to first-degree attempted murder in a plea deal.

Aranda approached Landen at random, picked him up and hurled him over the third-floor railing before running away, authorities said. He was captured aboard a light rail train and later told police that he was looking for an adult to kill but chose the young boy to victimize instead. Aranda's family has said he suffers from mental illness.

The GoFundMe set up for Landen has raised more than a million dollars.