CaringBridge Is Funded by People Like You

Make a donation to CaringBridge

Honor Landon with a tax-deductible contribution to CaringBridge today.

Click here to make your donation.

Landon’s Story

On Sept. 13, Landon (who was 16 years old at the time) was hit by a car while rollerblading with his friend, Sherman, about a mile from his home in rural Minnesota. 

Due to concerns about brain trauma, he was life-flighted to the Neuro-Trauma ICU at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale, MN.  He sustained multiple skull fractures, severe brain injury (diffuse axonal) and brain swelling as well as a broken leg and collarbone, a damaged lung and carotid artery and many cuts and bruises.   Landon was in a coma for many weeks and in a minimally responsive state for months.  His alertness grows little by little every day.

Landon was a Junior in High School and is #6 in a family of 8 children.  He has 7 splendid sisters (of which I am one) and 3 brothers-in-law.  His parents (Les and Gayle) and two younger sisters (Jonae and Brittany) live north of Detroit Lakes, MN, near Strawberry Lake.  Gayle homeschools Landon and his sisters and Les is a self-employed carpenter. 

Landon goes to Strawberry Lake Mennonite Church where he rocks the worship band and where the congregation agrees that he is generally awesome.  Landon played hockey on the Detroit Lakes High School varsity hockey team. 

He loves the Vikings, sleeping in ridiculously late, kicking it with his friends, playing music, being at camp, playing hockey, being really good at so many sports, fishing, late-night frozen pizza snack binges, making his sisters yell 'ewwww,' being the favorite uncle of his 4 neices and 4 nephews, finding a bargain at a garage sale and not mowing the lawn.

He really is a gem.  He is kind to those around him and carefully  shows love where ever he can.  He is a confident, natural leader who often blows us away with his intelligence, his sense of humor and his killer dance moves. 

We (his family) have been by his side since the day of the accident working our tails off making sure Landon has the best recovery possible.  He was in the Trauma-Neuro ICU for about a month and in rehab at Bethesda in St. Paul for 2 months and then at Gillette Children's Hospital in St. Paul for 3 months.  He moved home on March 24, 2011.

We love him so much. 
And you would, too. 
Thank you for praying for Landon.

Landon's address:
31837 Co Hwy 34
Ogema, MN 56569

The address to send financial contributions to Landon's fund:

Wells Fargo Bank
211 Holmes St W
Detroit Lakes, MN 56501
(Make checks payable to: Landon Hochstetler Benefit Fund.)

Latest Journal Update

apples & lawyers & some info we're just going to put riiiiiiight here

Our last journal was drearytown. It's probably not fair to update only sparingly and then do so with a large dose of Debbie Downer. Thank you for your support and sitting with us in that dreary pile of poo. It was gross. But it was pointed out to us that flowers can grow out of poop. And maybe apple trees. 

We have decided to get back to Hochstetler-ing.  We have decided to get going, shake off the poo (gently so it doesn't splatter anyone else), and move forward.  

Now it may not come as a huge shock to any of you that Momma Hochstetler does not do well with injustice. In fact, treating people unjustly ticks her right off. And there's that saying about the apple and the tree. And Momma H has a lot of apples. So when said injustice happens to Landon... Well... we're talking 22 Hochstetler rage apples.

*We sincerely hope that image does not ruin bobbing for apples for you this Halloween season.*

As our last update noted, the Carrick Brain Center was something we prayed over for many months before deciding to take a leap of faith into HoTlanta and see what pile of healing we might land in. While the treatments we got while in HoTlanta were hopeful, the follow up we were promised has been nonexistent despite Momma H's constant phone calls, emails, and letters. A StUpID amount of time and energy went into trying to get what we paid for and were promised. It is time consuming and exhausting to get Landon into Dairy Queen for a blizzard; so you can imagine how frustrating it was to allocate time to being on hold, leaving endless voicemails, hand writing letters (Yes, Hand-writing. Momma H demands justice 1945-style. Boom.), sending emails, and then hearing nothing. Just crickets. Horrible cricket silence that drives a person coo-coo-banana-crackers. And all this doesn't even involve ice cream. Not even a simple butterscotch dilly bar.

Then. FinALLLLLLLLLy. We get a response. In the form of a contract in legal mumbo-jumbo. Jigga wHA??

Last time I checked, legal mumbo-jumbo is really no good at healing traumatic brain injury. Which is all we are interested in.

This contract offered our family a certain amount of money if we would politely keep our mouths shut about our treatment at Carrick. Yep. Hush money, folks. And not even enough hush money to cover the cost of going to Atlanta. Much less the emotional toll of having a hopeful option turn into a bureaucratic nightmare.

So we sat with this contract. Hating it. Shutting up is not a Hochstetler skill. But maybe getting even some money back to put into other treatment options was our best choice?

Then we thought about all of you. This beautiful, compassionate community of people who have selflessly fought alongside our family for over five years. This community who gave us much of the funds in order to go to Carrick and pursue further healing for Landon. We knew many of you were eager to hear how it went in HoTlanta and were confused by our silence. We did not like silently sitting in that pile of poop one speckle and frankly we had some concerns about our ability to be silent forever about Carrick.

So we told them we would not be silenced. We are not interested in pursuing a law suit. Not even maybe. We are not angry at any of the doctors we worked with at Carrick. We are very frustrated that Landon's care was interrupted by a short-sighted corporate restructuring which left us with nothing. We responded to the contract from our heart, telling them that their handling of the situation felt nothing less than cruel to a family who has been dealt enough cruelty. Landon deserves better. This community deserves better. And No. We will not shut up about it.

Apparently, that is not a normal response that Darla and Ken Beam (Corporate leaders of Carrick) get. In response to our letter, we got only a certified letter in the mail from their lawyer, withdrawing the previous offer, and expressing regret that they cannot agree to meet the terms requested.

So we have decided it is time to let Landon's supporters in on the whole story.

When we make decisions for Landon's treatments we acknowledge that you all are a part of that and take great responsibility in handling the gracious funds we are given with respect.

So we think you ought to have a say. If you feel so compelled, we are just gonna leave this information riiiiiiiiight here and you can let Darla and Ken Beam know what you think about them keeping your money.


Office:  214- 771- 8885
Cell: 817- 807- 1407

Toll Free:  855- 444- 2724

After many months of debating, praying and yelling about how to move forward, our family has found some peace with this decision.  To keep making our voices heard, to not take weird hush money for silence, to be truth-tellers even when the story is weird.  

As Momma H. says, "Our God will supply in ways we know not. But oh, how my soul hates injustice!"

Now go put on a flamingo costume and bob for an apple. 
We love you.

12 people hearted this



Abby Findley
By Abby Findley
I sent them an e-mail stating my disappointment as well. So sad to hear about this. I hope they come back and offer the services Landon deserves.
Kathy Burgau
By Kathy Burgau
I found their Facebook page and added a post of my own....STILL praying that they do the right thing and provide the care that was promised. Take care and keep the Faith !
LaVerne Seefeld
By LaVerne Seefeld
Your comments today make me very sad as to what is happening to good people who trust and believe in the "system" as they are told it will be. I plan to send an email. Not sure what I will say; though I do know it will be something. Have seen other situations where people are being treated as if they do not exist after giving some hard earned and justifiable cash for a job to be accomplished. My heart is hurting when I think of all you as a family - and Landon - have endured the past 5 years. God help us who seem to be at the mercy of others taking advantage and caring less about truth, honesty, and a time to break a contract. Peace and prayers continue.
Lucy Epp
By Lucy Epp — last edited
They will be hearing from me. This is such an injustice! And it sounds to me like what they have done is illegal as well. Prayers and big hugs go out to you all as you continue to struggle through not only the setback to your hope, but also the ongoing grieving of your journey.
Kim Berg
By kim*b
*screen shot of contact info*

*silently brainstorming email to this, um, "duo" about what it actually means to be on team landon*
1 person hearted this
Kimberly Guse
By Kim Guse
I would REALLY seek out an Attorney, if you haven't yet. Not to necessarily "sue" them, but to maybe force them to give you what you paid for. Let them fight out the legal word battle on equal ground. There is no way you can know of all the legaleeze ways that you can get what you want/need....
Donna Blauw
By Donna Blauw
I will be praying that your family as well as others will be blessed beyond what any of us could ever think or dream by our Father in heaven. Also that the people there Carrick Brain Centers will come to know Him as we do and have a true change of heart.
Love you all muchly.
Stacey Bailey
By Stacey Bailey, New Paris, IN
As always I am so impressed and inspired by your journal entries. YOU are an amazing family. Though I was not among those able to donate towards your trip, I will still let those yahoo's know my thoughts on their less than stellar "customer care". How ridiculous they would try to "buy" your silence. take care H family.
rose thompson
By Don and Rose Thompson
We can somewhat relate with our granddaughter. We were told she needed brain surgery like "right away" or as soon as possible. She had just recently lost her health insurance so brain surgeon wanted money up front. Hospital kept putting us off. Finally a call (after trying many other contacts) to a Minnesota senator and everything fell into place. We don't know if that is what did it or not but the hospital found a place for her. It was pure frustration for many weeks.
Shirley Chupp
By Shirley Chupp
Standing up for what is right and just! You are brave souls. I just wish things would have gone as you had hoped for.
Peace be with each one of your family. Love you.