ATLANTA - Tripp Halstead, the young boy who suffered a traumatic brain injury a little over five years ago, has died. He was only 7-years-old.
Bill Halstead, Tripp's father confirmed the sad news to FOX 5 News Thursday night.
The boy had gained a large fan following on Facebook showcasing his recovery. Over the past years, Tripp's mother, Stacy Halstead, has shared her family's story with the world, posting updates about the highs and lows on her Tripp Halstead Updates Facebook page.
Stacy posted on Facebook Thursday afternoon about an unexpected downturn:
"Oh how fast things can change! I went to wake Tripp up for school this morning and he was having labored breathing. I could see his little chest going up and down and his heart rate was high."
His mother said he took Tripp to an Athens, Georgia emergency room where they stabilized him for transport to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
"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," Stacy wrote.
Stacy later posted a heartfelt message regarding Tripp which read:
In 2012, his mother, Stacy Halstead watched her 2-year-son "walk" into his daycare center in Winder, Georgia. That would be the last time she would see him before his shocking accident.
Tripp was outside his daycare center when a limb from a tree fell, hitting him in the head. He suffered severe brain injuries and spent months recovering at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
"The world as we knew it stopped on Oct 29, 2012," Stacy said in a Facebook post today.
In an update on this past anniversary, Stacy admitted that sometimes these anniversaries are very painful, writing that the day five years ago was "life-changing."
"I have been a strong mommy for 5 years, I think it's ok to be sad thinking about that day. I can always be strong again tomorrow," she wrote.
Evans Funeral Home posted Tripp's obituary on their webpage Friday. It read in part:
Thousands are now expected to say their final goodbyes to Tripp at a memorial service on Sunday. Evans Funeral Home has announced Tripp's memorial service will be held at the Jefferson Civic Center on Sunday, March 18 at 7 p.m. A visitation, also at the Jefferson Civic Center, will take place from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. immediately before the memorial service.
The Jefferson Civic Center is located at 65 Kissam Street in Jefferson, Georgia.
Tripp's family is asking that in lieu of flowers, those who have followed their journey to donate to a charity of their choice in Tripp's name.
In a Facebook post on Friday evening, Stacy wrote that she was still in shock:
She went on to write that she is fully aware there are people out there that would wish to take advantage of her family's tragedy:
She ended the post by thanking everyone for their prayers during this extremely difficult time.