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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

happy spring!

What? Has it been seven months and no word from the HClan?  Well, yes, yes, it has.  At least, it has if CaringBridge is your main source of news on the H Clan.  If you’re into texting, Facebook, Instagram, phone calls, email, driving through Strawberry Lake with the windows down, and/or carrier pigeons then likely you’ve heard SoME news.  I mean, we’re a noisy bunch.  Despite the quiet on CaringBridge, rest assured; quiet is still very much not a part of our skill set. 

Here’s some of the buzz around the Hochstetler House.

We are adding 'reasonable' to our list of how we do-- just below 'wild' and above 'plain nuts.'  Mom has declared that *bah bah bah baaaaah* 2015 is the year for some important reasonable leaps forward.  Specifically she and all of us along with her are demanding that this year Landon WiLL find words and WiLL no longer need his feeding tube. We are demanding these two.  We think that's a reasonable request.  

We are grabbing every possible opportunity, every IST in the region, every wild idea, every reasonable idea, every determined ounce of strength, every fart, every breath, every slice of pickle to get these goals accomplished. Landon is working on communicating with buttons.  He's Quadricising every single day.  He's giggling at ridiculous sisters and one adorable new nephew.  He's stretching and connecting and working every second to heal as much as each second offers. 

And one healing opportunity recommended by Landon’s Functional NeurologIST, Dr. Chris, involves a trip to Atlanta, Georgia.  (We encourage readers to read the rest of this paragraph in a southern accent. It’s more fun that way.  Also another good idea is to wear a hat with a very large brim while reading.)  A trip to Atlanta means a trip to a place called: The Carrick Brain Center.  As you might have guessed from the name, the Carrick Brain Center is a place for brain healing.  It’s cutting edge.  It’s the what’s what for recovering from brain injury.  Check it out.  You’ll swoon.

Plus you’ll notice Carrick starts with a “C.” As in Corndog.  Which everyone knows is the most healing food.  So there’s that.

The trip to Atlanta will be a wild endeavor, but we are determined and hopeful that this will be a BiG healing next step for Landon.  It’s been encouraged not only by Dr. Chris, but also by Brett’s family who spent time at the Carrick Center during Brett’s recovery from a severe TBI. (If you don't remember Brett, just know that he's awesome and has fought hard for recovery from severe TBI.)  For now, we are talking about one week of intensive evaluation and brain healing at the Carrick Brain Center. From there, we plan to return home with more tools and plans in place for continued healing.  Perhaps we will be looking at more time in Atlanta for follow up later.  But our main goal right now is to get down there for one week.  We’re all jazz hands about it.  Bossy, demanding, reasonable jazz hands.

We as always will need your help to make this happen.  Because healing takes a village.  We need your cheers, your prayers, your songs, your jazz hands.  We would also accept your gift of road snacks including (but not limited to) beef jerky, gummy bears, whoopie pies of all varieties, and Swedish Fish. We are thinking at this point that from the gifts this community has already donated we have the finances to cover the cost of a week at Carrick, though we haven’t worked through all the details.  If we return to Atlanta in the future, we will possibly be begging even more support at that time.  For now, stretch out your dancing legs, dust off your pom-poms, and get some knee pads ready because dancing, cheering, and bossy prayer support is what we will be needing. 

In other news, you know that saying (or is it a song?) about the cat who comes back?  Well, mee-ow.  Ben the World’s BeST PCA came back like the awesome cat that he is.  You may remember that this summer Ben married his love, Amber, (who together we can call Bamber) and they moved to Tennesee.  Which caused a more-than-small amount of general panic and freaking out.  But we love Ben and only want the best for him.  So we played it cool and sent him off with our blessing.  And we were overjoyed when Bamber decided some months later to return to the snowy north!  We did NoT stand on the highway in catsuits purring with delight as Bamber drove back into the neighborhood, but we super wanted to.  The way Ben cares for Landon is nothing short of phenomenal.  And now Bamber have welcomed sweet little Theodore Lyle into their family just a few days ago!  Huzzah!

This is just a smattering of the things going on with Team Landon and the H Clan.  I mean, we also tore down a chicken coop at Easter, but that’s a whole other story and I bet you have at least sixteen other things you need to be doing today. 

The bottom line is: It's healing time, folks. 

We are declaring this is the year of reasonable leaps.  Join us.  Do something reasonably wild today.  Pray for some reasonable healing.  Eat a reasonable amount of ice cream.  And know that you are loved by one reasonable heap of Hochstetlers.



6 people hearted this



jill swiers
By Jill Swiers Baker
My pastor preached a sermon on demanding Gods attention when we pray, so I've been literally yelling at God to give Landon a word for about two months. I think it scares my children, but the jury is still out on whether it's getting Gods attention.....maybe if others yelled too?
Fr. Al Bitz
By Fr. Al Bitz (retired and living in Bismarck & working part time at the University of Mary
It's good to hear what is going on. It will be a privilege to pray with you for further healing. It was good being with Fr. Shannon on the "Energy Tour" through central and western ND! It was a great 2 days.
ann detweiler
By ann detweiler
Demanding with you! Is there a paypal or other fund me type site I can drop $ in for Atlanta? (don't get all excited - it will not be a staggering amt)
Donna Blauw
By Donna Blauw
When I saw the notification of your post I almost did a back flip. Then I remembered my age and that I have never done a back flip so I just got myself here to read about the wild clan from Minnesota and all that has been happening there.
Thanks for all the news! I know your time in Joja will be awesome! That is Georgia with a southern drawl! I will be praying for all of you and know Father loves you all VERY MUCH! That was just in case you are not listening!
Have a great summer.!
1 person hearted this
Kim Berg
By kim*b
If you drive through Minneapolis, my building is wheelchair accessible *and* there's a party room (and a room with endless supplies for craftys). Just sayin.
Kim Becky Lovgren
By Kim & Becky Lovgren
What exciting news - and having Ben/PCA back is the frosting on the cake!! We wish you safe travels and great things to come from the trip to Georgia. Thoughts and prayers continue as well!!