Hundreds expected at church prayer rally for sick toddler

Hundreds of residents are expected to attend a prayer rally on Sunday for a 2-year-old that has a rare skin disease that causes blisters and sores to form on his skin.

For more than two years, Tripp Roth has beaten the odds and stayed alive. But every day the battle becomes more difficult. Now his family believes the prayers of people all over the country are aiding in his recovery.

The rally will be held at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Destrehan from 7 to 9 p.m. The event will take place in front of the church under the oak trees after the 6 p.m. Mass.

Participants are welcome to bring candles, chairs, blankets and bug spray. Donations will also be collected at the event to help with Tripp’s mounting medical costs.

So far, 400 people have said they will attend the rally on the event’s Facebook page.

Tripp was diagnosed at birth with a rare skin disease, epidermolysis bullosa or EB, which causes blisters and sores to form on his skin anywhere that friction occurs. That means that he cannot play, crawl or even have his diaper changed without irritating his skin.

Although there is no cure for EB, medical treatment has helped Tripp survive and dulled his pain. But Courtney, Tripp’s mother, said she believes another power is at work helping her son.

Over the past two weeks, Tripp has experienced fevers as high as 105 degrees, extreme pain and horrible blistering. The symptoms were so bad that Courtney believed Tripp may have been giving up the fight for his life.

“The last two weeks have been some of the toughest of my life emotionally. I have never seen him anywhere close to being that sick,” she said. “I thought he had completely given up and was ready to stop the two-year fight that he’s had.

“I couldn’t be more proud to say that I don’t think that’s the case yet.”

Tripp’s health turned around a little last weekend – a phenomena that Courtney attributes, at least in part, to prayer.

Over the last two weeks, individuals and groups, friends and strangers have come together to pray for Tripp’s health.

“Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that so many people could love my little boy,” Courtney said.

While the Roths also started Tripp on new medication, Courtney said she isn’t sure which one truly helped her son.

“I’m definitely a believer in prayer in numbers…and I truly believe in Tripp’s miracle of healing, so just as I believe that this antiviral medicine could be what’s causing him to feel better, I just as much believe that it could be from the power of prayer coming from (everyone) in the past week.”

As a local show of support, parish employees wore red ribbons last Friday in prayerful support of Tripp and to bring awareness of EB. Tripp’s father, Randy, is a former employee of the St. Charles parish Recreation Department.

“We made sure to post information about Tripp and our red ribbon plans to our Facebook and Twitter pages so our followers could learn more about him and hopefully join in,” said Renee Simpson, public information officer for the parish. “Tripp’s legacy will truly be about awareness; hopefully leading to more support for those suffering from EB and a quick discovery of a cure.”


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