by: Carl Willis Updated:
ATLANTA - Tripp Halstead is recovering after hours of surgery to reattach a part of his skull.
Surgeons initially had to remove the piece to relieve swelling after he was critically injured by a falling tree limb. Doctors did have to install a drainage tube as a precaution.
Now they'll monitor the swelling for two to three days to make sure they don't have to go any further.
"As long as his body starts to re-absorb the fluid how a person normally would, then he won't need that shunt, and that'll be a big step," said Tripp's father, Bill Halstead.
Tripp's mother, Stacy Halstead, told Channel 2's Carl Willis her little boy cleared a major obstacle Monday.
After more than four hours of surgeries and procedures at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite, they got word that everything went well.
"It was very nerve-wracking," Stacy Halstead said. "We were very excited that it happened, but anytime he has surgery it's very scary."
While doctors monitor Tripp in the intensive care unit, his parents relished a small treat.
His feeding tube was moved from his mouth to his stomach, letting his parents see his face before the swelling returns.
"He looks great," said Stacy Halstead. "The swelling is gone as of right this minute. He has no tubes on his face, so we can see his sweet little face like it's supposed to be right now."
"They did warn us that's going to end today. He's going to be really swollen. So much that his eyes will be swollen shut. The bruising will show," she said.
The Halsteads said they were told to expect some restless nights as Tripp pushes through the pain, swelling and bruising from the brain surgery.
"They told us to expect more storming, because it will probably come back more severe to begin with because he'll have headaches," said Bill Halstead. "It's kind of scary, but it's part of healing, so we have to accept and deal with it."
A team also had to inject some of Tripp's muscles with Botox to help ease him through the night when his body tenses.
This family knows things will have to get worse before they get better, but they said they will continue to find strength in others.
"Just the support and the love and prayer has been amazing," said Bill Halstead.
If all goes well, Tripp could return to physical therapy by the end of the week.