Tripp Halstead was just two years old on October 29, 2012, when a tree branch fell on him at daycare.
As WSB-TV reported, the branch landed on Tripp's head, causing severe damage and changing his life, as well as his family members' lives, forever. Yet, despite all of the surgeries and doctors visits he faced, Tripp's fighting spirit allowed him to thrive given the circumstances.
And for the last five years, Tripp has made the world a brighter place.
One the fifth anniversary of his accident, WSB-TV talked with Tripp's parents about what life has been like since that day in 2012. His mom, Stacey, talked about his budding personality, while his father talked about their ability to stay positive throughout all the hardships.
“We want to have expectations of walking, talking, eating, but that’s kind of unrealistic at this point. So, we’re just doing the best we can to keep him happy. Honestly, if he never got a day better, I am content with this. I know how he feels. I know that he’s happy. I know that he has a good life and he knows that he is loved.”
Sadly, on March 15, 2018, Tripp Halstead suddenly passed away. He was just seven years old.
His father, Bill, confirmed the news to WSB-TV, before the family released a statement on Facebook to their over 1.4 million followers.
The statement read:
There are no words to express how Bill and I are feeling at this moment. We are beyond devastated and honestly I believe I am in shock. Our amazing, perfect, beautiful miracle of a son, Tripp Hughes Halstead passed away at 5:47 pm today. He was our whole world. We love you Trippadoo and you will never realize the impact you made on our lives. I have no idea when I will post again. I’m still processing everything. But Bill and I were in the room when he passed at the hospital. His little body was just done fighting this last infection. His little heart gave out. This winter was brutal for him. I’m just so thankful he had the best summer ever. Jet skis, Disney World, the list is endless and that’s when we got those amazing huge smiles. At this time, I will not be reading the comments but your welcome to leave them for me to read in the coming weeks. You have been the most loyal and outstanding followers we could have ever asked for and We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the past 5 1/2 years. You let us into your lives and You were there when we needed you most. Love, Bill and Stacy
Just hours before Tripp's passing, Stacey updated her Facebook saying, “Oh how fast things can change!”
According to the Facebook post, when she went to wake Tripp up for school Thursday morning, he was experience labored breaths. She explained:
I could see his little chest going up and down and his heart rate was high. We already had oxygen on because it helps him sleep better at night so no alarms had gone off. I went to move him and he started whining and then had crazy diarrhea so I immediately called his pediatrician and they said to bring him in. I got both of us ready and put the family on alert. As I was driving to the pediatrician’s office, I could tell Tripp was getting worse and I wasn’t sure I had enough oxygen in the tank I brought to make it to Atlanta especially in heavy traffic so we took a detour to Athens ER.
His oxygen levels were low and his CO2 levels were high so they have him on high flow oxygen and they did blood work, x rays and got an IV started. They said his left lung was Cloudy and it could be pneumonia or a mucus plug but since they don’t have a Peds ICU, they are sending us to CHOA. They recommended a Bronchial washing, which is part of a procedure called a bronchoscopy, a physician looks into the lungs with a fiber-optic bronchoscope to check for irregularities and take tissue samples. Also referring to as “lung washing.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with Tripp Halstead's family during this difficult time.