The seven year old that captured the attention and hearts of millions across America passed away yesterday. Tripp Halstead, who was involved in a freak wind incident at age 2, died last night at age 7. Tripp had been playing outside at his daycare center where a large branch broke from a tree and landed directly on his head, knocking him unconscious. Doctors told his parents that his brain had swollen from the injury, causing his body to shut down. Tripp’s mother Stacy shared the progress and setbacks Tripp had since that accident to a Facebook page that now boasts more than 1.4million followers.
“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,” Tracy posted on the Tripp Halstead Updates Facebook page last night.
Tripp suffered from his near-fatal accident on October 29, 2012. On a warm autumn afternoon with a gentle breeze, he was playing under a tree outside his day-care center. Without warning, a large limb fell on his head, crushing his skull. He was airlifted to a hospital in Atlanta and his parents were warned there that he might not survive. Doctors removed parts of Tripp’s skull in order to operate on frontal and parietal lobes of his brain, areas that control thinking, personality and motor functions. In a CNN interview in 2013, Dr. Joshua Chern, a pediatric neurosurgeon who performed the first brain surgery on Tripp, said they found extensive brain damage caused by the blunt trauma.
The police report cited the incident as an accident, and the tree with the branch that crushed Tripp’s skull wasn’t even on the day care’s property.
Looking for peace, comfort, and an outlet to share updates with her son’s progress, Stacy Halstead turned to Facebook. She started posting news and sharing her thoughts on the page Tripp Halstead Updates. In the time since then, more than 1.4million people have followed the pages, offering words of encouragement for Tripp and his family.
Stacy wrote, “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.”