Family: Hoffman soccer star Ken Snow believed he had lingering COVID-19 but didn't get tested
For most of his 50 years, Ken Snow was the picture of health.
In fact, as a soccer legend at Hoffman Estates High School and Indiana University, he was an entire gallery of health.
But something didn't feel right the last few months. The lingering cold symptoms, especially the cough that wouldn't go away, concerned him.
Unfortunately, Snow declined to see a doctor, according to his sister, Stephanie Snow. The fear of being diagnosed with COVID-19 and being put on a ventilator kept him from being tested, she said.
Ken Snow, who was living in Fishers, Indiana, tried to properly distance himself from friends and family, especially his three children. He was visiting his children in Port Huron, Michigan -- staying in a hotel instead of the family house -- when he died Sunday in his hotel room. An autopsy is pending, but the family believes the cause of death will be deemed COVID-19.
"He would still go jogging and stuff, but he had a cough and just didn't feel well," Stephanie Snow said. "Me and my dad kept telling him to go to the doctor, but he said he didn't want to go in because he thought he had COVID.
"He was just all about his kids, that's what he cared about most," she said. "He didn't want to see the kids until he was better, but then he just died."
Ken Snow scored 128 goals at Hoffman Estates High and added 84 goals at Indiana University while twice being named national college soccer player of the year. Four times Snow was named an All-American, and the Hoosiers won the 1988 NCAA national title led by Snow.
Until his death, he operated the Ken Snow Goalscoring Camp. He was planning camps this summer throughout the Midwest before the pandemic struck and forced them to be canceled.
While several notable athletes have contracted COVID-19, few have died from it. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, of the 6,770 COVID-19 deaths reported in Illinois through Wednesday, fewer than 1,000 have occurred in patients younger than 60 years old. Nearly 70% of deaths have been among patients age 70 and older.
Dr. Phillip Cozzi, the medical director of critical care at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital, believes Snow's death serves as a reminder for everyone to be vigilant in the fight against COVID-19.
"One person might be able to fight off the virus efficiently, and another individual can't fight off the virus at all," Cozzi said. "It's a wake-up call to the world that anybody might be susceptible. It's a testimony of how severe the infection can be."
Snow is survived by his three children, Ashley, Matthew and Lauren; his sister Stephanie and brother Steve, who was also a standout soccer player at Hoffman Estates High; his father, Ken; and several nieces and nephews. His mother, Suzanne, died in 2014.
Stephanie Snow said her brother loved watching his daughter Lauren play soccer at Youngstown State University. Among Matthew Snow's fondest memories was a simple beer he'd occasionally enjoy with his dad.
Matthew Snow said all three children enjoyed a unique bond with their father.
"Dad was somebody all three of us could count on no matter what time of day," he said. "He never missed a chance to let us know how proud he was of us. Each of us had our own special relationship with him that we will always cherish."
A visitation is 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Smith Family Funeral Home in Port Huron. Stephanie Snow said a bigger memorial is being planned in Carmel, Indiana, at Roselli's Pizzeria, which is owned by Steve Snow.
"I still can't believe it," Stephanie said. "He was healthy. He was always working out. It's just a shock to all of us."