Tripp says goodbye
Tripp came home this June after three weeks in the hospital. Karen Loy, Tripp’s grandmother, had Rowdy at her house to help out Alisha and Aaron, and was planning to take him back to his parents on Wednesday, June 27.
At around 5 p.m. the day before, Aaron called Karen, saying they were taking Tripp back to the hospital since there was something wrong with his stools.
“[Aaron] called again about 9 [p.m.] and he said Tripp had spiked a fever and he was having really bad abdominal pain,” Karen said.
When they arrived at the hospital, they put Tripp on the floor and he walked to his room, blowing kisses the entire way.
Eventually, Tripp’s condition deteriorated and an X-ray showed pneumatosis, which can cause necrotizing enterocolitis, a condition in which portions of the bowel experience tissue death.
“They put him on IV antibiotics and kept him comfortable through the night,” Karen said.
Between 3 and 4 a.m. on June 27, Alisha said Tripp was comfortable, so she laid down in the crib with him and Aaron went to the lounge to sleep. But at 5 a.m., Tripp woke up.
“He looked at mommy and he blew her a kiss, he signed that he wanted his socks and shoes and then he reached his arms up,” Karen said. “Then his cry changed to a high-pitched cry — Alisha said, ‘I knew it wasn’t him anymore’ — and she went to get Aaron. When they came back they were doing CPR on him.”
Tripp died at 5:41 a.m. June 27, his “Heaven day,” as his family calls it.
“He woke up enough to tell mommy goodbye,” Karen said.
Coping with the loss of his brother
Rowdy understands that Tripp is gone. He comes to his parents whenever he feels sad or when he misses Tripp and wants to look at pictures.
“The hospital did a great job of talking to us about how do we help him, how do we talk to him,” Alisha said.
During the car ride to the kidney walk Saturday morning, Rowdy told his grandmother about a trip to the zoo the other day.
“We saw giraffes, and goats — and goats made brother laugh,” Rowdy said.
At Tripp’s funeral, instead of flowers the family asked for balloons, which they released into the sky.
“So we write messages on balloons when [Rowdy] wants to talk to brother and we send them to Heaven,” Alisha said. “We really watch him closely to make sure we don’t need to bring in outside services for him, but right now he’s really doing well.”