A young Georgia boy whose struggles following a freak accident five years ago were followed by hundreds of thousands of people online died Thursday, CBS News reports. Tripp Halstead was just 2 when he was hit by a falling tree branch while playing outside his day care during Superstorm Sandy in 2012. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the branch injured both sides of Tripp's brain. He suffered brain damage, was in a coma for weeks, and was only allowed to leave the hospital after nearly 10 months. Tripp has had at least 16 surgeries since the accident.
Tripp's mother, Stacy Halstead, says she found her now-7-year-old son struggling to breathe when she went to wake him up for school Thursday. Halstead announced Tripp's death following an infection in a Facebook post that evening. "There are no words to express how Bill and I are feeling at this moment. We are beyond devastated," she writes. "This winter was brutal for him. I’m just so thankful he had the best summer ever. Jet skis, Disney World, the list is endless and that’s when we got those amazing huge smiles." Halstead thanked the over 1 million people following Tripp's post-accident life on Facebook. "You let us into your lives and you were there when we needed you most," she writes. (Read more Georgia stories.)