MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 12-year-old boy is alive thanks to the quick response from school workers.
Landyn Berends collapsed at Lakeview School in Cottonwood on Nov. 15. A secretary and a school nurse were among those who performed CPR and saved his life.
Now, Landyn needs one more miracle before life can return to normal.
Related: Landyn’s GoFundMe Page
“All his life he’s been a healthy kid and at his checkups. All of the sudden, boom,” mom Jenni Berends said.
That November morning was normal enough. Landyn was in the gym before school, shooting baskets with a friend, and then, out of nowhere, he collapsed.
Related: Landyn’s Caring Bridge Page
“They couldn’t find a pulse on Landyn so they performed CPR. If they didn’t do that, Landyn would not be here. They saved his life,” Jenni said.
After being rushed to the hospital, doctors conducted tests that showed Landyn has a life-threatening condition: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
“Landyn has three times a thick heart muscle for what a 12 year old should have,” Jenni said.
A heart transplant is needed, and soon. Landyn went from an active sixth grader, to simply waiting. Strenuous activity is out of the question, and his family can get the call at any time that a new heart is waiting for him in the Twin Cities.
“Here at any moment of the day, we can get a call right now and have to leave,” dad Dustin Berends said.
In the meantime, the school and town are rallying around the Berends, who also have three other children. They have cooked them meals, and Christmas presents poured in by the dozens, filling up the family truck.
“I’ve never seen such huge smiles on my kids’ faces on Christmas morning,” Jenni said.
Landyn says that day was a blast.
“It was fun opening them. We got the living room a mess,” Landyn said.
Now, what Landyn really wants is for things to go back to how they were. Once he has a new heart, a new life begins.
“After he gets his heart, there is a long road of recovery ahead. As soon as he gets his heart he can go back to being a normal 12-year-old kid,” Jenni said.
Because of his condition, Landyn is near the top of the priority list for a transplant.