by: Matt Johnson Updated:
FLOYD COUNTY, Ga. - The father of a 4-year-old girl who drowned at a pool party says he is "overwhelmed" by the community's support as he continues to grieve.
Lucia Johnson died Tuesday after drowning at a pool party in Floyd County last Saturday.
"A very, very large part of my heart is no longer with us," Kirk Johnson, her father, said.
Johnson says support from friends, family and strangers since the drowning has helped his family through an unthinkable tragedy. Many have contributed to a Gofundme to help with medical and funeral expenses.
"The support from our churches has just been amazing," Johnson said. "The donations and the financial support that's come in is just overwhelming. We are so grateful."
Rome police said Lucia had gone into the pool without a floatie on as an adult-supervised party was wrapping up. She was unconscious when first responders arrived, authorities said.
"There's no blame," Johnson said. "Accidents happen."
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Johnson doesn't dwell on the details. He'd rather think about the loving daughter with a big smile who is
remembered for loving purple, monster trucks and telling jokes.
"She just had the biggest laugh and loved to make people laugh," her father said. "She's walking with Jesus now and I know that."
A member of the community offered to give Johnson's other four daughters free swim classes and he intends to take the man up on that offer. Johnson hopes that other parents think about Lucia as summertime is just beginning.
"Hug your babies tight at night," Johnson said. "Be careful around the water, live life and have fun."
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