Injured toddler still critical, but fighting

ExploreUpdate: Tripp Halstead, age 7, died Thursday, March 15, 2018

The family of a 2-year-old critically injured by a falling tree branch received mixed news from doctors regarding the toddler’s progress Thursday. But Tripp Halstead continues to fight, and the family says it is drawing support from friends, family and even strangers.

Both sides of Tripp’s brain were injured when the large branch hit him in the head, and it’s still too early to know what the outcome will be for the boy, his father, Bill Halstead, said Thursday. Tripp will likely remain in an induced coma for another week as he recovers from the emergency brain surgery he had Monday afternoon, hours after the branch landed on his head outside his Winder daycare center.

But the fact that he has passed the three-day mark, post surgery, is a positive sign, the family says.

“We have even finally heard mention of ‘next week,’ ” Halstead wrote on Facebook. “At first, it was strictly ‘next hour’ so that is a positive for us, as well.”

The family has said it has been overwhelmed with support and encouraging words from thousands of people, including dozens of strangers, who have followed Tripp’s ordeal through media reports and social media.

Facebook page titled "Tripp Halstead Updates" had more than 11,000 fans Thursday night and served as an outlet for Halstead and his wife, Stacy, to post updates about the toddler. A fund to benefit the toddler was set up at PNC banks.

“The brick and block walls of this hospital are no match for the power of your prayers, every single thought and prayer is being received,” Bill Halstead posted.

Tripp’s favorite toy, Lightning McQueen, is in his hand as he remains unconscious.