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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

t-minus eight days until GO TiME!

Word is, we're getting snow tomorrow which is totally gross.
BuT I don't even care. 
Because we Team Landon enthusiasts have plans for an upcoming trip to Atlanta to keep us warm.  
And by "plans," I mean ReAL plans.  Concrete plans.  With dates and appointments and airline tickets.  PLaNS.  
And by "upcoming," I mean in 8 little bitty days!  Woot.  That's right.  We are IN for the Carrick Brain Center.  Mom, Dad, Landon, and I (Shanda) are flying to Atlanta on May 26 where Landon will be treated at the Carrick Center from May 27 to June 3.  BooM! 
We've had our eye on the Carrick Center for several years now and it's actually happening.  (Throw yer hands in the air, People!  Wiggle 'em around!  Let's hear it for fried chicken!  And other southern things!)
Our hope is that a full assessment and treatment plan from these cutting edge Brain Champions (perhaps that is not the official medical title, but Potato PotAWto) will lead to new directions and new therapy options and new HeALiNG.  Actually, that's more than our hope; that's our plan.  Also our hope/plan is to arrive wearing really embarrassing Hawaiian shirts.  

While in Atlanta, Landon will be treated by Dr. Duffy, who was also Brett's doctor for those of you who are also Brett fans.  (Brett also had a severe TBI, also has an awesome family who reached out to us and made us laugh real, real hard even when our hearts were hurting, and also is awesome.  Other notable things-- Brett has created a greeting card and design company and he has an outrageously cool stander, wheelchair, all-terrain thinger that you just must see to believe.)  Even if you're not a Brett fan, Dr. Duffy is still going to be directing Landon's treatment.  So if you're the praying or vibe-sending sort, toss some prayers and energizing vibes Dr. Duffy's way.  

We are thrilled to say the least about this new adventure.  Well, we're also a little nervous and scared.  And a little pissed off still about the whole stupid TBI gig and how freaking slow it is.  Seriously.  It's been four years, eight months, and five days.  A painfully long four years, eight months, and five days.  
So we're thrilled for the opportunity to get some reasonable steps toward recovery.  And we're nervous about trying something new.  And we're scared that our hearts will just be broken again as we watch Landon struggle so hard to gain even just the smallest bits of healing.  And we're pissed and demanding and determined and confused.  And in the end, we're just clinging to hope, to each other, to love, and as we cling, we are trying any open door to see if maybe that's where the healing light of God is shining next.  And this door leads to the sunny south.  

Ann Detweiler asked how she can give some ChA-ChING toward this Atlanta trip.  It is true that insurance isn't covering any of this treatment.  As of right now, we have requested assistance from the county and are waiting to hear back, but we are confident that with a little help from the county and with the generous gifts Team Landon has already given us, we will have this adventure covered.  If this goes super well, it is quite possible that we will be looking to return to Atlanta for a longer treatment in the future.  And ThEN we will need your help.  And we will ask for it.  Even though asking for help is not our favorite thing to do.  

So.  For now, if you want to pitch in: 
*Pray.  Bossy prayers.  
*Get us a meal while we're in Atlanta by way of an online gift card. Or a real gift card in the real mail if you're feeling all 2003 about it.  
*Text us a funny joke you heard.
*Send us an adorable and/or grumpy cat meme.
*Text Mom 4,758 emojis so I can watch her be so confused as she stares at her new iPhone.  (She just upgraded from a flip phone.  BiG time stuff here, people.  Mother Gayle's got data.)
*Buy Ben (Landon's superPCA) something adorable for his new baby Theodore or a gift card or a card with a goose on it or a new car as a way of saying ThANKS for taking awesome care of Landon every day even though you don't get paid even close to enough.  (For real.  You can send it to Ben at my parent's house:  31837 Co Hwy 34 Ogema, MN 56569)  

We love you.
It's late.  
Get some sleep.

6 people hearted this



Cheri O'Neill
By Cheri ONeill
LOVE your honestly!! Thanks for keeping it real! I am so excited you are going forth with this! We will be in prayer and waiting to for a GO-FUND me account to get set up if you need it! Believing with you you all for little and HUGE things to come!! Love you all so much.....Welcome to to the BIG LEAGUE Miss Gayle! woohoo....snap me ! :)
Shirley Holzgrove
By Shirley Holzgrove
YAY!!!!!!! I will definitely be praying for God's guidance for everyone involved! We miss seeing Landon and all of you. Life for us has been full of school, school and more school and trips to Mayo for Anne (don't worry, she is doing well now). Even I was taking classes! We appreciate getting these updates, especially because we haven't been able to get up to see all of you. May the Lord watch over and protect you as you travel, bless each and every health care team member with His wisdom and discernment, and engulf Landon with the miracle of healing!
Carol Neufeld
By Carol Neufeld
Gods blessings over you Landon and your family. I'm so excited about your new doctor and trip. One must always look for that Hope sustained through our loving Lord. I will be praying. Soak up some sun.