ATLANTA - A little boy who suffered severe brain injuries in October of 2012 has started a new form of therapy in hopes of waking up any brain cells that were damaged in the incident, according to his family.
Tripp Halstead was critically injured when a tree limb fell on him outside his Winder day care center. He spent months at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
On Facebook Sunday, Stacy Halstead shared new pictures of her son inside a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber. The Halsteads had planned on driving two hours a day for 40 days to test the treatment when the owners surprised them by bringing it to their metro Atlanta home.
“Tripp did really well. You could tell he was nervous but that lip never came out so I knew he was ok,” said Halstead. “We just kept it in the lowest setting for 10 minutes. We wanted to see how he reacted. We explained everything to him and he took it all in stride.”
The treatment exposes the body to 100 percent oxygen at a pressure greater than what you would normally experience, according to JohnsHopkinsMedicine.org. This can allow the healing process to speed up.
Stacy Halstead said she will try to keep her expectations low, but her hopes high. She has two potential goals for the therapy: that it will help Tripp start to talk or swallow again.
"We're hoping it'll open up some of the dormant brain cells and he works so hard to talk," she explained. "Those two things are my biggest expectation. Maybe just that first word and to be able to eat again."
According to Halstead, her son has made enormous strides in the last month and can now lift his own head.
"That's why we chose this time to try it because he is making such good progress and we're hoping this [will] just push him a little bit more over the edge," she reasoned.
Halstead said she won’t put Tripp inside the chamber alone. She plans to use the chamber close to his bedtime when he is already tired The family's goal is to get to the highest pressure and stay for an hour by this weekend.
“Hope these pictures help you understand how the chamber works a little better. We are so very excited to start this journey! You can control everything from the inside. It has a remote to turn it on and off and adjust the pressure. There is one mask, it just gives out even more oxygen. You don't have to use it, it's just an added bonus.”
Halstead went on to say there aren’t any negative side effects to her being in the chamber with her son.
Tripp, who just returned from a family beach trip in Panama City, met with his neurologist on Monday. They will have a follow up in 40 days to see if there has been any change. Halstead said if they see any change in Tripp they will have a fundraiser to purchase their own hyperbaric chamber.
“Thank you for all your prayers and support,” said Halstead. “Love you all.”