The youngster has been hospitalized close to 35 times and on a ventilator 20 times since his birth, his mom revealed.
A 5-year-old who has been battling COVID-19 for over a month is requesting for people to send him stickers and notes of encouragement to help get him through this difficult time. Young Noah Schneider has been in the hospital for close to 60 days now after he tested positive for the novel Coronavirus just before New Year's Eve. Born with cystic fibrosis—a genetic, life-threatening disease that damages the lungs, digestive system, and other organs—the boy often runs out of breath. Speaking to Good Morning America, Noah's mom Haley Schneider revealed that the youngster has been hospitalized close to 35 times and on a ventilator 20 times since his birth.
"He's resilient," Scheider told ABC 10. "He comes through everything and nothing has taken him down." Schneider revealed that she knew her husband Andrew had a mutated gene that could cause CF, since his daughter from a previous relationship, 7-year-old Ashlynn, has the disease. She later found that she too had the mutated gene and when she was 18 weeks pregnant with Noah, her test results came back showing that the fetus had CF. Due to his condition, Noah was no stranger to self-isolation and constant hand sanitizing even before the pandemic and confirmed cases of COVID-19 close to their home in Yuba City, California, sent Schneider into panic mode.
"When the first confirmed [COVID-19] case was in Gridley, I panicked," she explained. "I was like, 'oh my gosh, my kids can't get this.'" The concerned mom took her kids out of school a week before they officially shut down and continued to isolate them at home. However, their worst fears came true when Schneider's husband tested positive for COVID-19 on December 15. Not long after, Noah began requiring more oxygen than he was getting at home and Schneider took him to Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento, where he tested positive for COVID-19 on December 30 and still remains a patient.
"When we came in, the doctors were baffled because they were like this was the sickest COVID case we've had," Schneider explained. "In the United States in general, they don’t know much about pediatric COVID because there haven’t been many extreme pediatric cases." Noah was still in a tough place after ten days of anti-viral drug treatments and then convalescent plasma treatments, Schneider revealed. "They were just like, 'Noah's on a fence, and he's going to sway to the left or he's going to sway to the right and nothing more that we can do to help him, but Noah's going to tell us which way he's going to go,'" she recounted. "Noah's been through so much in his little life. If it was going to happen, it was going to happen and I was doing my best to accept it."
Fortunately, after days of not knowing whether or not he would survive the virus, Noah pulled through. "He completely turned around for the better," Schneider explained. "He was up and playing." DeeDee Rodigo, a child life specialist at Sutter Medical Center Children's Center who focuses on psycho-social support for pediatric patients and specializes in patients with CF, has been an incredible source of support for Noah and his family for the past few years. "His COVID diagnosis focused our team to become even more cohesive in supporting Noah and his family's needs without every staff member being in his room," Rodigo said. "Giving Noah ways to participate in his care has given him control and mastery in a setting where control is very limited. Seeing how this has boosted his confidence and increased his trust in our medical team has been rewarding. He is an amazing little fighter."
Recently, one of Schneider's friends asked Facebook friends to send Noah stickers to help get him through his latest hospital stay. "He's gotten five cards, but nurses gave him [stickers] and now he has a couple thousand," Schneider revealed. "He loves getting them. He asks almost every day, 'Did I get a package?'" Although Noah could be released from the hospital by the end of February, Schneider is apprehensive about getting her hopes up. "Noah doesn't actively have COVID, but he has damage from COVID that we're trying to get over and trying to figure out what we're going to do next," she explained.
If you'd like to mail stickers and a note or card to Noah to get him through this challenging time, please send them to:
Sutter Medical Center
ATTN: Noah and Haley Schneider
2825 Capitol Avenue
Sacramento, California 95816