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Isaiah Risland

7 weeks after sailboat accident, boy leaves hospital

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An 8-year-old boy, injured in a sailboat accident on a lake near here, could return home this week.

Doctors allowed Isaiah Risland on Friday to leave St. Paul's Gillette Hospital seven weeks after the April 6 accident that killed his two younger brothers.

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"Isaiah and daddy will be staying with friends for the Memorial Day weekend before going back to the new normal," Sara Staley, an aunt, wrote on the boy's CaringBridge website. "Thanks for all the prayers."

Isaiah also won't have to take medications, as doctors determined his iron and blood pressure numbers were OK, she wrote.

Tragic accident

Dan Risland of Leonard, Minn., and his three boys were sailing on Clearwater Lake when the boat sank about 3 p.m. April 6. The father swam to shore to summon help after being unable to get the boys to land.

The boys wore life jackets, but spent about an hour in 40-degree water until first responders could reach them. Isaiah's brothers, 6-year-old Zechariah and 2-year-old Jacob, died from hypothermia.

The Clearwater County Sheriff's Office recovered the 10-foot fiberglass sailboat, piloted by Dan Risland, about 300 yards east of High Island in the lake.

Previously, Clearwater County Sheriff Mike Erickson ruled the incident an accident and said there would be no criminal charges.

The family has not spoken publicly about the accident and has declined interview requests sent to them through hospital spokespeople and family members. Isaiah's aunts, Tia Wallin and Staley, posted frequent updates on the boy's CaringBridge website up until mid-May.

In older posts, his aunts documented significant progress in Isaiah's recovery.

"He's talking about going fishing this summer and riding his bike, so he has his goals that he is working towards and that can be a great motivator," Tia Wallin wrote earlier this month.

Isaiah spent about a month at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis before switching to Gillette Hospital in St. Paul.

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