Tripp Halstead, the Jefferson toddler whose struggle with a traumatic brain injury captivated the state, has died. He was 7.
The boy’s father Bill Halstead confirmed the death to media outlets Thursday.
Tripp was critically injured in 2012 when a tree limb knocked down by high winds fell on his head outside a daycare center.
In the incident’s wake, the boy’s ordeal of long hospital stays and numerous surgeries garnered widespread attention and fundraising efforts. In the five years since, Tripp’s mother Stacy has kept a legion of followers informed via Facebook updates. On Thursday, she posted that Tripp had suddenly suffered breathing and intestinal problems and was being taken to the hospital:
“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. … 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.”
From there, Tripp was waiting to be transferred to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. It is unknown exactly when thereafter the boy passed away.
The family made no further statement. Funeral arrangements are unknown at this time.