• Tripp Halstead's parents ‘never ever expected him to pass'

    By: Justin Wilfon

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - The journey of Tripp Halstead’s recovery from a brain injury, after a massive branch landed on his head while he was playing outside at a Winder day care in 2012, captivated and inspired people around the world. 

    Tripp passed away last month at the age of 7. For the first time, his parents Bill and Stacy Halstead, are talking about the final moments of their son’s life that brought so much inspiration to others across the globe. 

    [PHOTOS: Tripp Halstead through the years]

    Inside Tripp’s bedroom, there are still plenty of reminders of what his parents lost.

    “We never expected him to pass. It was a complete, complete shock,” Stacy Halstead said. 

    It’s been more than five years after part of a tree fell on Tripp at his Barrow County day care and severely injured his brain.

    [READ: A timeline of Tripp's journey toward recovery]

    “We just miss him all the time and think about him constantly, so it’s tough,” Bill Halstead said.

    His parents sat down with Channel 2’s Justin Wilfon Thursday evening and told him about how Tripp took a turn for the worse late last summer. After multiple bouts with pneumonia, the 7-year-old woke up sick again on March 15.

    “And I had seen him like that before and I thought, ‘Oh, he has pneumonia,’” Stacy Halstead said.

    [READ: Friends reflect on the life and impact of Tripp Halstead]

    Tripp eventually ended up at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. A short time after arriving, his parents heard a code blue come from his room.

    “We just see them on top of him doing CPR and taking his pulse and we see there’s nothing going on, on the monitor.  And I’m just crying out, ‘Trippadoo it’s OK.  We’re here, we’re here, you’re fine!  We love you! Mommy and Daddy are here!’”

    [READ: Tripp Halstead admitted to hospital with breathing problems]

    After years of fighting, the Halsteads believe their son’s heart finally gave out.

    “And that’s when like you see in the movies, you fall in the chair and you’re screaming and you’re crying.  It was just horrific," Stacy Halstead said.

    Now a month later, they spend a lot of their time opening cards and letters from people around the world. A sign that their son’s story will live on in the hearts of so many.

    [READ: Community continues to step up to help Tripp Halstead]

    “When you read the cards, it makes you realize how much he was loved and how much he’s going to be missed by everyone,” Stacy Halstead said.

    The Halsteads told Wilfon they will be running marathons in Tripp’s honor, including one that will raise money for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. 

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