WASHINGTON, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Peyton Baumgarth, 13, is being remembered by family and friends as someone who was kind and compassionate, but a real jokester.

Peyton Baumgarth

The eighth grader in Franklin County died over the weekend from complications caused by the coronavirus, marking the first death under the age of 18 in the state.

Stephanie Franek, his mother, told News 4 that she tested positive for the coronavirus on October 26 and that Baumgarth was presumed to have the virus because he was showing symptoms. She said he didn't have any underlying condition, but his condition declined rapidly.

"He just wasn't getting any better and his condition was getting much worse, to the point he needed medical attention," said Franek.

Peyton Baumgarth

Peyton Baumgarth (R)

Franek said Peyton was admitted to SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital on Thursday and died on Saturday.

"This is just something that no parent should ever have to do, and I don't even know how to take a breath, let alone get through the next days and weeks and months and years without him," she said.

Baumgarth was an 8th grader at Washington Middle School.

"We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family," school officials said in an email sent to parents and staff.

The school will bring in additional counselors on Wednesday when students return to the middle school for support.

"Because we know this will impact our school community emotionally, we encourage you to be especially sensitive and prepare to offer support to your child(ren) during this difficult time," the email reads.

A friend of the family created a GoFundMe account to help with medical costs and funeral expenses.

Franek says that if any good can come from her her son's death it's that people will follow the safety guidelines and take the pandemic seriously.

"Wear a mask when you're in public, wash your hands and know that COVID is real," she said.

On Sunday, the Franklin County Health Department reported 44 new cases, seven of which were children who tested positive. They range from a 3-year old boy in Leslie to a 16-year old girl in Gerald.

Over the last 10 days, according to health department data, 16 children have tested positive, including a 1-year old boy in the Sullivan area.

According to Missouri's health department, five people between 18 and 24 have died from the virus so far in the state. The state's coronavirus dashboard doesn't show anybody under 18 has died, Peyton's death would be the first.

A total of 16,915 Missourians under the age of 18 have been infected by the virus statewide so far. 

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.