A little boy who inspired millions with his strength after a tree limb crushed his skull and left him paralyzed almost six years ago died on Thursday. He was 7.
Tripp Hughes Halstead’s life was chronicled faithfully by his parents, Bill and Stacy Halstead, on a Facebook page called “Tripp Halstead Updates.” On Thursday night, the Georgia couple broke the news to their followers that their son had died after battling an infection.
“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,” Stacy wrote on Facebook. “Our amazing, perfect, miracle of a son, Tripp Hughes Halstead passed away at 5:47 p.m. today. He was our whole world.”
While Stacy had frequently posted photos and health updates on her son, she revealed in her grief that she had “no idea when I will post again.”
“I’m still processing everything,” she wrote. “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,” Stacy continued. “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.”
For her family’s followers, she thanked them for being “the most loyal and outstanding” people who kept along with her family for 5 ½ years.
“You let us into your lives and you were there when we needed you most,” she wrote.
Tripp, who was affectionately called “Trippadoo” by his parents, suffered a brain injury that left him paralyzed and unable to talk after a tree branch fell on him in October 2012 when he was 2, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
He spent 10 months in the hospital before his parents were able to bring him home, and his fight for life inspired many and got nationwide covereage.
On Thursday morning, Stacy shared that Tripp was having trouble breathing despite having his oxygen tank on. She described that when she tried to move him Tripp “started whining and then had crazy diarrhea” which led her to call his pediatrician.
“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,” Stacy wrote.
She explained that her son’s oxygen levels were low and that he had blood work, X-Rays and an IV. Stacy said doctors washed his lungs to clear his airways.
The Halstead’s struggle to conceive their son for two years until they sought help from a fertility specialist, according to the Associated Press in November 2017. Stacy told the wire, “It was a terrible pregnancy, but I was so happy, after trying for two years and being devastated every month, that I didn’t care.”
While Tripp underwent several different kinds of therapy, Stacey said his progress was “inconsistent.”
“He really has no motor skills. No reaching, no kicking. But his personality definitely came back,” she said. “He smiles, laughs and giggles. But he pouts, cries and gets upset. He’s still in a diaper and has a feeding tube. We physically take care of his needs. But the fact that he can show emotion is all we ever prayed for.”