The Halstead family marked the four-year anniversary this weekend of what Tripp Halstead’s mother called, “the accident that changed our lives forever.”

That was then when 2-year-old Tripp Halstead was at the Cribs to Crayons daycare facility in Winder when winds from Hurricane Sandy broke a large limb off of a tree and hit a fence before striking him in the head. The boy’s skull was cracked and brain surgery was performed at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

By two years after the accident, doctors had performed 16 surgeries. He’s also had multiple surgeries this year.

But on Saturday, his mother Stacy wrote on Facebook, Tripp woke up happy and with smiles.

“He’s come so far and we are extremely proud of him,” she wrote.

To mark the date, the Halstead family visited first responders at the Winder Fire Department, Winder Police Department and Barrow County Fire Department. They then traveled to the Ronald McDonald House and CHOA.

The family gave donations, including toys at the hospital, at the various locations.

“Wow, today has been amazing,” Stacy wrote. “I haven’t had one meltdown and I have smiled all day. … Very humbling experience. These people are amazing.”

Since he spent months at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, Tripp ‘s medical journey has been chronicled on the Facebook page “Tripp Halstead Updates” that has 1.3 million likes and the family since 2012 has received loads of community support including a remodeled home in Jefferson by the Roswell-based nonprofit Sunshine on a Ranney Day.

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Gwinnett Daily Post news reporter.

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