Tripp Halstead (Courtesy Bill Halstead)
ATLANTA -- One month after 2-year-old Tripp Halstead was brain injured, from a tree limb falling on him in his hometown of Winder during a storm, he is still in the hospital, battling to recover. He is at Children's Health Care of Atlanta at Scottish Rite.
Here are the links to his family's Facebook page, and to the fund that's been set up for the family, which have attracted followers internationally:
Tripp's father, Bill Halstead, spoke with 11Alive News on Tuesday about Tripp's progress, and the astounding impact Tripp is having on people all over the world:
I mean, the community support's the biggest thing for us, right now. It's just amazing to us to see exactly what's going on as far as the outpouring of support. We're not even sure what's driving it.... People showing their love has just been overwhelming to us.
A guy said, "I'd like to come eat there [at one of the restaurants' fundraisers], but the distance is a problem." He goes, "Ah, you know, love and prayers from Nigeria!"
We're hearing from people everywhere, South America, Canada... China, Russia, France. A lady from Paris, France actually used Google translator, and we were communicating with her just using cut and paste between French and English.
I mean, so many people just say that Tripp just brought out feelings in them as far as making them step back and realize what's important in their lives, as well. We get people that say, "I'm not a pray-er, I don't really believe in God, but I said a prayer for you guys, tonight," which we really appreciate. People say they're not taking their kids for granted anymore, hugging their kids an extra time, which, I mean it's been devastating to us what's happened to him, but it's so encouraging for us to see that he's having an effect on people like that.
It's been 29 days.... [At first] you couldn't tell there was anything wrong with him, he had a little scratch on his head, but he was unconscious and I was, like, maybe he just got knocked out.
Then [doctors] said, at best it's 50-50 that he will make it.... He had a compressed skull fracture.... And there was bleeding in the brain.... During the surgery they said it was much worse than they thought as far as the swelling in the brain.
This whole Facebook page thing was started as just a means for us to communicate with family and friends.... And it's just exploded. One lady sent me a picture yesterday of [The University of Georgia's] Sanford Stadium overhead, it was full. And she goes, "You know, just to put into perspective how many people are following Tripp, this is a good number -- Sanford Stadium holds 92,000. And you guys have, like 88,000 [as of Monday, Nov. 26]. So you're pretty much right on [that same amount of people]," and it just kind of put it into perspective.
We have no idea where he's at mentally. I mean, we hope he can remember us, I don't know. He has no expressions of any sort as far as that goes. I mean, the only thing he does is cry when he gets upset, there's no smiling, there's no real focusing with his eyes. So, we're just happy that we can be here [with him in the hospital room, 24-7], and all the fundraisers are what's making that possible for us.... It's incredible.
Wednesday will be one full week of actual therapy.... They're trying to teach him how to swallow, right now, I mean that gives you an idea of where he stands.
His whole thing is the "Team Boom," everybody says of themselves, "I'm a proud member of Team Boom." To us it's just the love that people are capable of showing, and it's just unreal that this many people are doing that with us right now.