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Before 10th surgery, Tripp smiles for first time in months

Tripp Halstead

Tripp Halstead

Some of the best news for Tripp Halstead and his family in months arrived early on Friday morning without a word.

He smiled.

The 2-year-old wore a grin when his mother walked in his hospital room at 5:45 a.m.

"I had tears running down my face!!" his mother, Stacy, wrote on Facebook. "It is the closest thing we have seen to him being happy in over four long months."

On Friday afternoon, Stacy wrote that her son watched cartoons.

"As far as we can tell anyway," she wrote. "He will actually look at the TV instead of just at the ceiling so maybe he is starting to focus again. Yay."

The toddler had an MRI and a 10th surgery on Friday, which was to replace two external ventricular drains, and any bacteria. The MRI was to reveal if the bacteria spread away from the drains, if dead brain matter was harboring bacteria or if the infection attached itself to the skull.

If bacteria is attached to his skull, doctors would need to take the skull out again and keep it out until the infection is gone, Stacy wrote.

"That would be the most dangerous and invasive surgery," she wrote.

Following the procedures, Halstead's temperature was low, so he was covered in blankets.