In the past seven days, Missouri has confirmed over 15,000 positive coronavirus cases, reports say. Among those in the recent spike was an 8th-grade teenage boy who fell ill and succumbed to the deadly disease.
Peyton Baumgarth, 13, became one of the state’s and nation’s youngest deaths after passing away over the weekend from COVID-19 complications.
In a statement, Dr. Lori VanLeer, superintendent of Missouri’s Washington School District, stated that Peyton passed away less than two weeks after he last attended school. His last day of eighth grade was on October 22. He began quarantining four days later.
Within a week of quarantine, Peyton’s symptoms began to worsen. He was soon hospitalized before passing away from the disease, his family informed the school district.
“We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family and ask that the public respects their privacy. His family deserves nothing less,” VanLeer wrote.
“The family also asks that we all remember to wear masks, wash hands frequently, and follow guidelines. COVID-19 is real and they want to remind students and parents to take these precautions in and outside of school,” the statement continued.
On a GoFundMe page created to support Peyton’s family, the young teen was remembered as “a wonderful young man, who always had a smile to share with you.”
“He was so very sweet and caring and FUN,” the campaign’s organizer wrote on GoFundMe.
“He loved Christmas, video games, and enjoyed making YouTube videos, playing Pokemon GO, playing football and being with his family.
“Peyton, buddy, you are forever in our hearts. We love you endlessly and will never forget you.”
As of Monday, $22,478 of the $100,000 goal has been raised.
When students return to in-person classes on Wednesday, counselors will be provided on behalf of the school. They ask that the community continue their “thoughts and prayers”.