Tripp Halstead set to leave hospital

Some of the best news the Halstead family has received in more than three months arrived this week, and Tripp Halstead’s mother announced late Thursday night that a return home is scheduled for next week.

On the Facebook page “Tripp Halstead Updates,” which counts more than 152,000 “likes,” Stacy Halstead wrote that the Winder toddler is expected to return home on Feb. 8.

“So I am all over the place,” Stacy wrote. “I feel like I just got karate chopped in the throat, but at the same time I have butterflies in my stomach like I am going on a first date.”

The family has spent the majority of their time in the last three months at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, and recently at CHOA at Scottish Rite.

Halstead, 2, was critically injured on Oct. 29 when a large tree branch fell on his head while he played outside his Barrow County day care. High winds from Hurricane Sandy caused the branch to fall. After a tumultuous first weekend, doctors told family members that they were confident enough in his condition to openly plan for the possibility of his survival.

In December, the toddler had a surgery to reattach parts of his skull that were removed to relieve pressure on his brain, insert Botox and attach a feeding tube to his abdomen.

Earlier this month, doctors inserted a Baclofen pump in Halstead’s stomach, which is designed to restore normal balance and reduce muscle hyperactivity.

To prepare for departure from the hospital, Stacy wrote that she and her husband, Bill, and her mother would stay in a room with Halstead for 24 hours each, without nurses or doctors checking in.

“I feel very confident that I can do everything I am suppose to,” she wrote. “Give food, meds, bath him, etc...it is only if something odd happens I am worried about. But I guess every mother has that feeling with their baby.”

Stacy wrote that the three-month anniversary in the hospital made the stay seem like it started yesterday, and like it “has been my life forever.”

“It has been so nice having the other moms around,” she wrote. “Had a great discussion with another mom tonight about the ups and downs and getting so mad you want to scream, but knowing that you have to be strong for your baby. It is a roller coaster for everyone here, so i am going to miss that feeling of belonging to a special group of people.”

Dozens of businesses and community organizations around Gwinnett, Barrow and throughout metro Atlanta have held fundraisers and percentage nights to make donations to offset the family’s medical expenses. A golf tournament at Chateau Elan is scheduled for Feb. 9. For more information, visit www.fortripp.com or www.teamboom4tripp.com.