For more than 20 years, Daryl Snedeker dedicated his life to protecting and serving.
Old habits die hard, as the now-retired Solano County sheriff’s deputy continues the charge by sharing his COVID-19 battle with the community.
“It’s up to me to put hope out there. I feel an obligation … to say you can beat this thing,” the Vacaville resident said Wednesday morning.
The first inkling that something was amiss occurred the day before New Year’s Eve. He had a minor sinus-like congestion, he recalled. The next day symptoms were a bit more severe and by New Year’s Day, he thought he had the flu.
“I never got out of bed,” he remembered.
Days later, Snedeker had taken a COVID-19 test. Results received later that night showed he had the virus.
“I had no energy, headaches, I threw up,” he said. Other symptoms included diarrhea, fever, breathlessness and fatigue.
“It was like each day I had a new symptom,” he shared.
A Kaiser Permanente advice nurse told him to buy a fingertip oxygen sensor. A doctor later told him to head to Kaiser’s respiratory clinic. He was later treated in the emergency room and then admitted to the hospital.
“I was a little concerned at this point,” he admitted.
He was placed in a wheelchair and escorted by a nurse and security guard to his room.
Understandably scared, his spirits were bolstered by his nurse.
“She explained how it will be, that they’ll be there for me no matter what, they’ll do everything they can to help me go home,” he shared.
Her best advice, apparently, was to turn off social media applications on his phone and disregard any new regarding COVID-19.
“She told me, ‘You are an individual person. This thing acts differently in every person.”
Her tips, he said, “saved me mentally.”
For seven days, he dreamed of going home.
“I slept a lot because I was exhausted,” Snedeker said.
He couldn’t eat for three days and when he finally was able to handle food, he’d lost his sense of taste.
His appreciation grew for every staff member. From nurses to doctors to janitors, he appreciated them all.
“They truly cared about their patients,” he emphasized.
He couldn’t have visitors, so he called and texted. Mostly, he rested. He also took lots of medicine, including Remdesivir.
“I did a lot of soul searching,” he said.
Meanwhile, his wife and a daughter had also contracted mild cases of the virus, but overcame it.
Snedeker listened as neighboring patients struggled with COVID-19, refusing medical advice and suffering because of that. He chose to listen closely to his doctors’ advice in hopes of getting better,
By the time the retired deputy left the hospital, he had lost 28 pounds and was more than ready to go home.
“It was an emotional moment for me,” he explained. “I couldn’t thank the people the way I wanted to thank them.”
At home, he was happy to find that he was still under Kaiser’s care as their COVID team kept in close contact with him.
He remained on oxygen for two weeks and continues to take it easy.
“I feel like I’m 99% better,” he said.
Snedeker still gets winded but is working on building up his respiratory system.
“My goal is to get on my mountain bike and ride all over Lagoon Valley Park,” he pledged.
His advice to the community is to have faith, trust your medical team and take the virus seriously.
In a February Facebook post, he wrote: “Please protect yourself and your loved ones. Pray for those who have it or who get it and their families. Most of all stay positive in everything you do. None of us are guaranteed another day. Be blessed my friends.”