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5-year-old wants cards, stickers after recovering from COVID-19

5-year-old Noah Schnieder has been battling cystic fibrosis since he was born. His mother was prepared for the worst when he got COVID-19.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Any nurse or doctor in the pediatrics department at Sutter Health Medical Center in Sacramento would know stickers. Paw Patrol and Spiderman are a few of 5-year-old Noah Schneider's favorite things. 

They know because Noah has been in and out of the hospital since he was born, battling cystic fibrosis. His mom, Haley Schneider said he’s been in the hospital close to 30 times; this last time, for complications with COVID-19. 

"He’s resilient," said Haley Scheider, who lives in Yuba City. "He comes through everything and nothing has taken him down. He’s been on a ventilator like 25 times."

Even before the pandemic, Schneider was no stranger to self-isolation and constant hand sanitizing. Cystic fibrosis (CF), a disease that causes lung infections, runs in her family. While Noah has had a more severe case, her daughter's CF, she says has been more treatable. 

"When the first confirmed [COVID-19] case was in Gridley, I panicked," Schneider explained. "I was like, 'oh my gosh, my kids can't get this.'"

She took her kids out of school a week before they officially shut down and continued to isolate them. But after steering clear of the virus for months, on December 30th, the Schneider families’ worst nightmare came true. Noah had tested positive for COVID-19.

Credit: Haley Schneider

"When we came in, the doctors were baffled because they were like this was the sickest COVID case we've had," she explained. "In the United States in general, they don’t know much about pediatric COVID because there haven’t been many extreme pediatric cases."

After ten days of anti-viral drug treatments and then convalescent plasma treatments, she said Noah was still in a tough place. 

"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," Schneider explained.   "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."

After three days of not knowing whether or not he would make it, Noah pulled through. 

"He completely turned around for the better," Schneider explained. "He was up and playing."

After 60 days in the hospital, even still hooked up to a ventilator, Noah’s smile and spirits are intact. Schneider said Noah could be released from the hospital by the end of February, but she wasn't 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.

As Noah continues to recover and ham it up with Sutter staff, Schneider said he loves when people send him cards and stickers. If you would like to send a card to Noah, address to: 

Sutter Medical Center
ATTN: Noah and Haley Schneider
2825 Capitol Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95816

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