Mom calls for changes to school policies after losing son to COVID
FLOYD COUNTY, Ga. (WGCL) - A Georgia mother, currently battling COVID-19, is getting ready to bury her 13-year-old son who succumbed to the virus.
The grieving mother is asking the state’s governor to make changes in public schools.
“It’s just different when it hits home,” Jennifer Helm said.
Helm talked outside of her home with a reporter during what she said is the worst moment of her life.
“I just want to hold him,” she said.
Helm lost her 13-year-old son Porter Helm to COVID-19 on Wednesday.
“Most horrible thing I’ve ever been through,” she said.
She hasn’t had the chance to see him yet, or tell him that she loves him, but she already knows what she will tell him when she does see him for the last time.
“Oh my god baby, I miss you so much,” she said. “I’d give anything if you were still here.”
Helm is among the thousands on oxygen, battling COVID-19 from home.
She could barely breathe when she tried to describe how her son took his last breath after he woke up coughing at his dad’s house.
“He gave him some medicine, waited a little bit and went back and checked on him,” Helm said. “And when he went back and checked on him, he was not breathing.”
Porter was a lover of video games who made everyone laugh, she said.
He was unvaccinated and tested positive for COVID-19 just one day after his mom.
“There’s not enough research,” Helm said, defending her family’s decision not to vaccinate.
Porter, however, didn’t even make it a week.
Helm said she believes Porter caught it from his school, Coosa High School, where there have been 11 cases already in three days.
She now supports the latest call from Georgia Democrats, such as Rep. Roger Bruce.
“We’re asking that the schools be closed until all of the children are able to get the vaccine,” Bruce said.
Helm agreed, stating the state government “can’t keep just farming these kids around in these schools.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s office, however, still isn’t budging.
“The science and the data are pretty clear that kids need to be in the classroom to be able to learn well,” said Cody Hall, spokesperson for the governor.
Helm said she believes that Kemp’s office and school districts are not taking the pandemic seriously.
According to the school district’s website, Porter’s high school has about a 1.2% case rate.
Under the current district policy, masks will remain optional as long as the case rate remains under 2%.
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