Mike Schultz, a 43-year-old nurse who lives in San Francisco, is going viral online for sharing his physical transformation after he contracted the coronavirus and spent six weeks sedated in a hospital, breathing on a ventilator.
BuzzFeed News reports the nurse had no preexisting or underlying health conditions that could have otherwise worsened the impact of the coronavirus; he was also in good health and worked out regularly.
Speaking to the outlet, Schultz said he did not even know he had been in the hospital for six weeks: “I thought only a week had gone by.”
That’s when his nurse informed him that he had been in the hospital for six weeks.
“I was so weak. This was one of the most frustrating parts,” he recalled. “I couldn’t hold my cellphone; it was so heavy. I couldn’t type, because my hands shook so much.”
Schultz had lost more than 50 pounds during the six weeks he was hospitalized.
“When he spoke with BuzzFeed News on Tuesday, weeks after he’d been able to start eating foods again, he weighed just 140 pounds. His lung capacity is only now starting to slowly come back,” BuzzFeed News reports.
Last week, Schultz shared his transformative photo with his 30,000 Instagram followers, showing the toll the coronavirus took on his body.
“I wanted to show everyone how badly being sedated for 6 weeks on a ventilator or intubated can be,” he said in the photo’s caption. “Amongst other things, covid19 reduced my lung capacity with pneumonia. Over 8 weeks, I’ve been away from family and friends getting stronger every day and working to increase my lung capacity. I’ll get back to where I was in healthier ways this time….maybe even do cardio”
Check it out:
BuzzFeed News reports the photo on the left was taken about a month before he first got sick. The photo on the right was taken in a recovery ward and he said the process of standing up to take the completely exhausted him.
“I knew what I thought going in [about the coronavirus]. I didn’t think it was as serious as it was until after things started happening,” he told the outlet. “I thought I was young enough for it not to affect me, and I know a lot of people think that.
Adding: “I wanted to show it can happen to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, have preexisting conditions or not. It can affect you.”
Schultz first went to the hospital on March 16, having contracted the coronavirus a week prior at a Winter Party Festival in Miami Beach.
“We knew it was out there,” Schultz admitted. “There were no real restrictions in place, though. No lockdowns. We just thought, Well, we gotta wash our hands more and be wary of touching our face.”
“At least 38 people who attended Winter Party subsequently became sick. Three men died,” BuzzFeed News reports.
Schultz is still recovering and is slowly building back his appetite.