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Published October 28, 2010, 02:56 PM

Ogema teen injured in crash is off respirator, technically not in coma

An Ogema, Minn., teenager who was hit by a car Sept. 13 while rollerblading on a Becker County highway no longer needs a respirator to breathe and technically isn’t in a coma anymore, according to his CaringBridge website.

The respirator was wheeled out of 17-year-old Landon Hochstetler’s room Thursday at Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul, where he’s undergoing coma stimulation therapy.

“That’s one less machine for us to trip over. One more prayer answered. One more step toward Landon’s recovery,” stated an entry in his CaringBridge journal, which is maintained by his family.

On Wednesday, Landon’s occupational therapist was “pleasantly surprised to see him tracking with his eye and following some of her commands,” the journal stated.

His neurologist said he’s technically not in a coma but rather a “minimal state of awareness” because his eye is open for much of the day, the journal stated.

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