• Countdown starts for opening of Tripp's renovated home


    JACKSON COUNTY, Ga. - Dozens of volunteers are working to renovate Tripp Halstead's home so it can be ready when he gets out of the hospital.

    Channel 2's Rachel Stockman spent the afternoon in Jackson County, where dozens of volunteers worked on the home, designed to accommodate the 2-year-old recovering from a critical brain injury after a limb hit him on the head last October during Hurricane Sandy.

    Volunteers hope to have the Winder boy's home finished in 90 days.

    Surrounded by friends and family, Bill and Stacy Halstead took the first swing at transforming their house into a place their child can call home. The family bought the home out of foreclosure.

    About 60 volunteers, all organized by the nonprofit Sunshine on a Ranney Day, worked to bring down walls, pull up carpet and get rid of debris.

    "We've been planning for about a month now, and finally this day is here. We're so glad it is here," said Danny Phillips of Ideal Interiors.

    "Today has been huge. Everything was happening so fast because we had so many volunteers. In two seconds, the carpet was already ripped up," said Holly Ranney of Sunshine on a Ranney Day.

    Tripp will be on the first floor with his parents. The doors of the home will be widened and there will be handicap accessible ramps to get into the home. A lift will be installed to get downstairs.

    "I don't think it's sunk in yet. It will when I get home today and I'm crying. I'm trying not to cry today," said Stacy Halstead.

    "When Tripp comes into his house, it is going to be pretty amazing for us," Bill Halstead said.

    While it will take many more days of work, organizers hope to have the project complete by July, and the end result will be a big surprise for the Halstead family.

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