Mike Schultz, 39, thought that his age and active lifestyle meant that he wouldn't be seriously affected by COVID-19.
"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 Buzzfeed News. "I thought I was young enough for it not to affect me, and I know a lot of people think that." Last week, Schultz shared a photo on Instagram showing the dramatic toll that the coronavirus has taken on his body, causing him to drop from about 190 pounds to 140 during a six-week hospital stay in Boston.
"I wanted to show everyone how badly being sedated for 6 weeks on a ventilator or intubated can be," Schultz wrote on IG. "Amongst other things, covid19 reduced my lung capacity with pneumonia. Over 8 weeks I’ve been away from family and friends Getting stronger everyday and working to increase my lung capacity. I’ll get back to where I was in healthier ways this time....maybe even do cardio."
#COVID19 survivor shares shocking body transformation— World Updates (@Rntk____) May 20, 2020
Mike Schultz, 43, a nurse from San Francisco, weighed about 190 pounds But after dropping 50 pounds amid the ravages of COVID-19, Schultz decided to share two images to his 30,000 Instagram followers. pic.twitter.com/FuPu5sv7vp
Schultz, a nurse from San Francisco, went to Miami Beach for Winter Party Festival in early March with his boyfriend DJ Josh Hebblethwaite, who was working at the annual party which draws in thousands of people for the week-long event. "We knew it was out there," he said. "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."
The Miami Herald reports at least 38 Winter Party Festival attendees had gotten sick after the event. Three have died. Shortly before he traveled to Boston to visit Hebblethwaite, Schultz said that he was feeling a little under the weather, but didn't have a fever. Two days after his arrival, both of them weren't feeling well. Schultz went to the hospital on March 16 after his fever went up to 103, and he was having difficulty breathing. "They took him right in and didn't let me stay to say goodbye," Hebblethwaite recalled.
Schultz was moved to another hospital four days later, and Hebblethwaite, who wasn't allowed to visit him due to the risk of spreading the virus, arranged to become his medical proxy, which would require him to make possible life-changing decisions on his boyfriend's behalf. Schultz ended up being intubated for four and a half weeks.
Schultz was released from the hospital last week. He wanted to post those photos to prove that even if you're younger than 65, and normally work out six or seven times a week as he did, this virus can still impact you.