Toddler injured during Superstorm Sandy dies 5 years later

A toddler crushed by a large tree branch during Hurricane Sandy more than five years ago died Thursday evening. He was 7 years old.

Tripp Halstead, from Winder, Ga., was playing in his daycare center's playground in October 2012 when the superstorm's fierce winds brought a large tree branch down onto his head. He was only 2 years old at the time.

The toddler remained in a coma for weeks after the incident, which left him critically injured with severe head trauma. The spunky toddler fought for months to survive, earning widespread support from those following his journey on social media.

Tripp was eventually allowed to return home 10 months later and his mother, Stacy Halstead, continued to post frequent updates on his status.

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Halstead shared the tragic news of his passing on Facebook late Thursday night.

"There are no words to express how Bill and I are feeling at this moment," his mother wrote. "I am in shock. Our amazing, perfect, beautiful, miracle of a son, Tripp Hughes Halstead passed away at 5:47 p.m. today. He was our whole world."

Halstead earlier in the day posted about how she noticed Tripp "was having labored breathing" when she went to wake him up for school. His parents took him to the hospital, where they were told their boy could have pneumonia.

Both parents were in the hospital room when he died Thursday evening, Halstead noted.

"His little body was just done fighting this last infection. His little heart gave out," she continued. "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 got those amazing smiles."