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Family 'relieved' by boy's signs in wake of sailing accident

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region Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Enterprise
(218) 732-8757 customer support
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

MINNEAPOLIS - Isaiah Risland is resting easy and giving doctors and family nonverbal cues as he continues healing from a sailboat accident earlier this month.

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Isaiah, 8, suffered injuries, apparently mostly due to hypothermia, in a sailboat accident April 6.

"He's still spending the majority of time sleeping so he can heal," his aunt, Sara Staley, wrote in an online journal Monday morning.

The previous day, Staley said on Isaiah's CaringBridge website that a magnetic resonance imaging test, or MRI, was "normal." A MRI allows medical staff to make pictures of body organs to determine problems.

"The (doctor) warned that we don't get too excited," Staley wrote Sunday night. "Autistic kids can have normal scans and normal kids can have abnormal scans. Despite this, we are relieved."

Earlier in the weekend, Isaiah began answering questions by following directions, and was "able to lift each arm and foot as instructed... These are all awesome signs."

Isaiah's younger brothers, 6-year-old Zechariah and 2-year-old Jacob, died in the accident. A funeral is scheduled for the boys today in Clearbrook.

Previously, Clearwater County Sheriff Mike Erickson ruled out criminal charges.

Dan Risland and his three boys were sailing on Clearwater Lake when the boat sank. The father swam to shore to summon help after being unable to get the boys to land.

The boys were wearing life jackets, but spent about an hour in 40-degree water until first responders could reach them. Zechariah and Jacob died, apparently from hypothermia, while emergency crews revived Isaiah, who was airlifted to the Children's Hospital in Minneapolis.

A benefit concert Sunday night featured Amy Courts, a singer-songwriter, at Crossroads Church.

A benefit also is planned from 1-5 p.m. Saturday at Evangelical Church, 5405 Hart Lane NW, Bemidji.

Online:

Visit Isaiah Risland's CaringBridge page online at www.caringbridge.org/visit/isaiahrisland

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