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13-year-old Blomkest boy shot in hunting accident undergoes surgery

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SVEA -- A 13-year-old Blomkest boy is recovering from surgery after being shot Saturday in a hunting accident.

Brady Damhof was resting and in stable condition Monday afternoon at North Memorial Medical Center, according to his mother, Betty Damhof.

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"He's had a couple major surgeries in the last couple days," she said in a telephone interview. "But he's here."

The Willmar eighth-grader was shot at "very close range" in the left shoulder and back area as he was duck hunting with family friends, she said.

According to Kandiyohi County Sheriff Dan Hartog, the accident happened in Fahlun Township, two miles east of Svea.

Gary Christoper, 39, of Blomkest, apparently stumbled while carrying a gun. The gun went off, shooting Brady Damhof, who was walking ahead of Christopher.

Damhof was airlifted from the scene and taken to North Memorial where surgeons repaired an artery and a bone in his arm. On Sunday, he underwent another surgery to reduce fluid in his left arm.

Betty Damhof praised the doctors for their care and efforts to manage her son's pain.

He is expected to undergo another surgery today and may have additional surgeries and therapy this week, said his mother.

"We thank God that there were no vital organs involved," wrote the family on Brady Damhof's page on the Caring Bridge Web site, which offers families a platform to share information about loved ones recovering from illness or injury.

"We are still waiting to find out the extent of the damage to his nerves in the area," the family posting states. "At this point he has no movement of his left arm but good blood flow and is feeling sensations. These are all positive signs."

Damhof remembers the incident, but the family hasn't talked about it, his mother said.

His father, Keith, and 16-year-old brother, Jacob, have also been at the hospital since the accident happened.

Betty Damhof, who is a social worker in the Willmar Schools, said Brady's principal is keeping classmates informed about his condition.

Christopher has also been at the hospital. "We understand it was an accident," said Betty Damhof. "There is no blame."

She said the support Brady has received has been overwhelming.

"We thank everybody for the support, goodwill and blessings," she said.

A page has been set up by the family at www.caringbridge.org/visit/bradydamhof.

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