A San Francisco nurse shines a light on the severity of COVID-19 with a shocking photo of the effects on the body.
Last week, Mike Schultz shared side-by-side photos of himself with his over 40,000 Instagram followers of the dramatic 50-pound weight loss he experienced during an eight-week hospital stay when he was treated for the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
The 43-year-old told Health that in the picture on the left, he is about 1
“I weighed myself the other day and am down to 140 pounds, and I probably weighed less than that when I first came to rehabilitation,” he told the magazine. “I’ve never been so skinny before in my life.”
Schultz explained to Buzzfeed News the reason he decided to publish his now-viral photos. “I wanted to show that it could happen to anyone. It does not matter if you are young or old, have existing conditions or not. It can affect you, he said.
Schultz told CNN that he suffered from coronavirus in early March, “before any of the restrictions were out” and likely got it when he attended Miami’s Winter Music Festival. His DJ boyfriend, Josh Hebblethwaite, worked at the event.
“We knew it was out there,” Schultz told Buzzfeed, noting that no “lockdowns” had been ordered at this time. “We were just thinking, ‘Well, we have to wash our hands more and be careful to touch our face.'”
The Miami Herald reported that 38 people who participated in the LGBTQ-friendly music festival later fell ill and three men died,
On March 14, about a week after the festival, Schultz flew to Boston, where Hebblethwaite lives.
He told CNN that when he first arrived in Boston he had a cough but “it wasn’t really a big deal.” But on March 17, he found himself with a fever of 103 degrees and had difficulty breathing.
When Schultz arrived at the hospital, he received a test specimen and chest X-ray. He tested positive for coronavirus and was also diagnosed with pneumonia and severe repertory distress syndrome, per CNN.
Shortly thereafter, he was intubated and placed on a ventilator to help with breathing.
“It was the last time I saw my boyfriend,” Schultz told Health. “I texted him,” I’m afraid. “Soon after, I became calming and I don’t remember much after that.”
He was on the fan for four and a half weeks, according to CNN. He told Buzzfeed that during this time he was “in a coma.”
Schultz said that when he woke up from his ordeal he thought it had only been a week. “I still had a tracheostomy [tube]”I couldn’t talk, and my hands were so weak that my phone felt like it was 100 pounds,” he told Health.
He also noticed that he had lost weight, but nothing could prepare him for what happened when he finally saw himself in the mirror. “I didn’t even recognize myself,” he told CNN. “I cried pretty much when I looked in the mirror, I was like ‘Oh my God. “
Schultz is now slowly recovering.
“I do breathing exercises to get my lung capacity up and lots of exercises to stabilize my legs so that I can finally walk without doing a penguin mix,” he joked to Health.
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