by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:
Parents of a 2-year-old critically injured by a downed tree limb is thanking the community for its support.
On Monday, high winds associated with Superstorm Sandy snapped the limb that struck Tripp Halstead's head at his day care in Winder. On Wednesday, his parents spoke exclusively with Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh outside Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egelston to address everyone praying for their son.
"He's our only child. We tried and tried for years, and he's very much a miracle baby, too. And that's another reason he's so, so precious to us,” said mother Stacy Halstead.
Tripp is now fighting for a miracle of his own. The toddler has been in critical condition at the hospital since Monday, and his parents have been right by his side. Halstead’s husband, Bill, called it a roller coaster ride.
"I mean, it is up and down, and we try to stay strong in front of him,” he said.
Supporters on Facebook and from around the world have said they are praying for the family.
"It has to be helping. He's doing so much better than we could have ever hoped,” said Bill Halstead.
Tripp was outside in the play area behind his day care when gusty winds snapped a 10-foot tree limb, which struck his head.
A family friend set up a Facebook page so the Halsteads can update others on Tripp's condition. They said they've heard from people from as far as China, Africa and the U.K..
“It helps with everybody reaching out and all the Facebook. We have time alone in ICU and we sit there and we just read them,” Stacy Halstead said.
She said they're also reading them to Tripp, passing along positive messages and trying to maintain a little bit of the familiar. Tripp’s favorite toy, his Lightning McQueen car from the movie "Cars," is always in his hand.
"We celebrate the highs, and we pray at the lows," Stacy Halstead said.
The Halsteads said they have to remain positive for Tripp, including when Kavanaugh asked them about the day care where this all unfolded.
"They're a huge part of his life and the moment he's ready, he'll be right back in that day care,” his mother said.
She and her husband believe what happened was just a freak accident and they do not fault day care staff.
On Wednesday, Channel 2 Action News found the day care is taking steps to protect children. The owner declined to speak on camera but said the tree is being taken down. Channel 2 crews were there as a tree service was at work.
The Georgia Department of Early Child Care and Learning said the day care reported the incident to them. They are now conducting an investigation, which is protocol.
Stay tuned to WSBTV.com and Channel 2 Action News for the latest on Tripp’s condition.