Updated: Friends say Northwest Georgia’s youngest COVID victim was creative, fun to be around. At age 13, he was Georgia’s fifth youngest person to die in the pandemic.

Updated: Friends say Northwest Georgia’s youngest COVID victim was creative, fun to be around. At age 13, he was Georgia’s fifth youngest person to die in the pandemic.

Additional counselors are expected at Coosa High and perhaps other schools today following the death of a 13-year-old eighth-grade boy found unconscious Tuesday morning and later pronounced dead from COVID 19.

The teen, now identified in his obituary as Porter A. Helms,  was not breathing at the time he was discovered, Floyd County Coroner Gene Proctor says. He was pronounced dead at 5:55 a.m. from respiratory failure caused by COVID. Porter is Northwest Georgia’s youngest COVID victim yet.

Several friends shared stories on Tuesday about his  creative talents and jovial spirit. His obituary follows:

Porter Alexander Helms, age 13, of Rome, passed away suddenly on August 31, 2021.

Porter was born in Rome, GA on November 29, 2007, son of Tad Helms and Jennifer Logan Goodrich. He was in the 8th grade. He loved anything that had to do with computers and games. He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Carl Helms; his uncle, Benji Logan; and his great grandparents, Buck and Florene Fowler and Hugh and Sue Logan.

Porter is survived by his father, Tad Helms; his mother and stepdad, Jennifer Logan Goodrich and David Goodrich; his sisters, Emma Helms and Karlee Helms; his brother, Ryan Helms; his step-sister, Alex Goodrich; his step-brothers, Collin Goodrich and Gavin Goodrich; his grandparents, Ray Logan, Gwen Venable, and Ann Darby; his aunt, Beth Short; and his cousins, Luke Lloyd, Lilly McCain and Libby McCain.

Memorial service will be held on Sunday, September 5, 2021, at 5pm in the Chapel of Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, Oaknoll Chapel, with Rev. Randy Lambert officiating.

The family will receive friends on Sunday, September 5, 2021, at Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, Oaknoll Chapel, from 3:00 pm until the service time.

Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, Oaknoll Chapel, has charge of the arrangements.

Floyd County Schools released this statement:

“The loss of a child, at any time, under any circumstances, is a tragedy. We are heartbroken that COVID-19 has taken the life of a child. We extend our deepest sympathy to this child’s family and all others who have lost a loved one to this virus. 

“Because we know this will impact our school community emotionally, we encourage parents to be emotionally sensitive and prepare to offer support to their child or children during this difficult time. “

Additional school counselors also were on campus Tuesday.

A check of Floyd County’s COVID reports shows he is the youngest person to die from the virus in Floyd County since the pandemic began in March 2020. Two others — a male and a female — both were 31 when they died. A male, 28, also has died in Gordon County.

He also is the fifth youngest COVID victim in Georgia; state records show four children between the ages of 1 and 12 have died.

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