A memorial service has been announced for Tripp Halstead, the 7-year-old boy who suffered a traumatic brain injury five years ago.
The service will be at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Jefferson Civic Center, Tripp’s mother Stacy Halstead announced. Visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, located at 65 Kissam Street in Jefferson. Evans Funeral Home of Jefferson is in charge of the arrangements.
Halstead died Thursday after an emergency visit to the hospital.
“I think I’m still in shock,” Stacy Halstead wrote in a social media post late Friday evening. “I am working on autopilot...I honestly don’t know what to do with myself. I’m in bed now trying to sleep, but I just felt the need to post. Posting has been an extremely important part of my life for the past (five-and-a-half) years. (It’s a) hard habit to break.”
On Oct. 29, 2012, Tripp — then 2 years old — was at his Winder day care when a tree branch fell on him, injuring both sides of his brain. The toddler remained in a coma for weeks and was brought home from the hospital nearly 10 months after the accident.
Since then, the family posted regular updates on the Tripp Halstead Updates Facebook account.
About 2 p.m. Thursday, Stacy Halstead posted that she noticed labored breathing from Tripp, who had been on an oxygen tank to help him sleep better.
When she went to move him, Tripp whined and “had crazy diarrhea,” Stacy Halstead said. She then called his pediatrician, who told her to bring Tripp in.
“As I was driving to the pediatrician’s office,” she wrote, “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.”
The family lives in Jefferson, roughly 60 miles from Atlanta.
Tripp died at 5:47 p.m.
“There are no words to express how Bill and I are feeling at this moment,” Stacy Halstead wrote in a Facebook post to those who’d been following Tripp’s progress. “We are beyond devastated and honestly I believe I am in shock ...(Tripp) was our whole world.”
The family is not creating a GoFundMe account (and have asked other not to set up one), but let followers know they their online donation bank they created five years ago is still operable.
“If you wish to make a donation in honor of Tripp, we encourage you to chose the charity of your choice,” Stacy Halstead said. “We have so many charities to thank, (it) wouldn’t be fair to chose just one.”
Cards for the family can be sent to P.O. Box 509, Jefferson, GA 30549.