Crowd gathers outside Sanford Castle to honor Madden Hein

April 18, 2024

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.–A large crowd gathered outside of the Sanford Children’s Hospital in Sioux Falls on Wednesday to honor Madden Hein, a Minnesota toddler who passed away after a three-story fall from a hotel window on April 13.

According to a GoFundMe created to support Madden’s family, he passed away two days after the fall, and his organs were harvested.

A crowd gathered at the flag pole in front of the Sanford Castle, many traveling over an hour from Madden’s hometown of Lakefield, Minnesota, to show their support. A flag with Madden’s name on it was raised and a short prayer service was held.

“It’s very important that we support them. It’s a horrible loss for them and everybody in our small community. I’m just glad that he was able to save so many other lives as well,” said Jen Kooistra, who traveled from Jackson, Minnesota.

“The whole town stepped forward to help Alex and Kathryn and it’s just a good feeling knowing that our town is the way it is to help people go through this very, very tough time. It will show them that we are all there for them for the rest of their lives because it will be a lifelong process for them and we will be there to help them out whenever they need it,” said Stephen Condon, a teacher and former mayor of Lakefield.

Jackson County Central School also canceled classes on Wednesday in order to bus students and community members to Sioux Falls. Madden’s parents, Alex and Kathryn Hein, are both teachers in the district.