Ch. 2 gets first look into Tripp Halstead's recovery at home

by: WSBTV.com web staff Updated:

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JEFFERSON, Ga. - For the first time, Channel 2 Action News is getting an up close look at the recovery of the little boy critically injured by a fallen tree limb, during Hurricane Sandy.

Tripp Halstead's family allowed Channel 2's Dave Huddleston to come to their house Thursday.

Tripp has been home for two weeks and his parents said he's making progress, and just having him home, around family, makes a big difference.

"He is very severely damaged and I understand that, so we're just looking for little steps at a time. But I'm never going to lose the hope that he won't come back," said Stacey Halstead, Tripp's mom.

That hope explodes when Tripp moves his head or turns when Stacy calls his name. She said she knows they have a long way to go, but it's the little things she calls blessings.

"It just lets me know that he's in there, that he's not just a shell," Halstead told Huddleston.

They're living with Stacy's parents. Tripp spends most of his days reclining in the family room, watching his favorite movie "Cars."

"We think he reacts a little bit to it," Halstead said.

The three of them sleep in the master bedroom where they can be close by, along with his medical supplies and oxygen tanks.

Gone are the days when Tripp would play in the backyard. His trike and T-ball set sit unused.

"Tripp used to pay out here all the time, and now he can't. He can only come out for a few minutes at a time," Halstead said.

Halstead told Huddleston most days are good, but every now and then the reality of what happened to her little boy becomes too much and overwhelms her.

"I've had moments where you go in the bathroom and you just cry and you scream and you hit the wall and you don't' know why this is happening," Halstead said.

She said those feelings don't last long when she remembers she has her son, her family and the Tripp Halstead Updates Facebook page.

Halstead said, in addition to support from prayers, and family, she also receives tremendous support from the page.

"I regroup and sit there in the corner by myself and I read the post, and the fact that people do care they sincerely care," Halstead said.

More than half a million people have liked the page.

"I need this. I need to read this to know that this many people care and this many people are praying for Tripp," Halstead said.

Since Tripp has been home, he's made progress. Thursday was the first time Stacy and Bill Halstead have allowed him to be videotaped.

Tripp recently moved his head. Stacy posted it on Facebook and millions watched.

"Five million people saw that post. That's the part, like, 'Really? Five million people?'" Halstead said. "But to have all these people from all over the world praying for him is the reason he's still here."

Tripp still needs around-the-clock care. And he must take half a dozen medications every day. But Halstead said that's OK. He's alive and he's home.

"We've been home a little over two weeks now. It started out with let's just make it through the night, let's make it through the day, let's make it a couple of days, and now we're actually looking at weeks."