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Gay nurse shows how six weeks fighting coronavirus ravaged his body in shocking before and after photos

Josh Milton May 21, 2020
Mike Schultz, a gay nurse, saw his life change after attending a circuit party in March. Weeks later, he was hospitalised with coronavirus. (Instagram)

Mike Schultz, a gay nurse, saw his life change after attending a circuit party in March. Weeks later, he was hospitalised with coronavirus. (Instagram)

Mike Schultz, a gay nurse hospitalised with COVID-19, has shared startling before and after photographs of the impact of the deadly but delicate virus.

Smiling in a throng of tattooed, toned torsos, selfies of Mike Schultz, 43, at the Winter Party seized Twitter timelines in March.

The event in Miami, Florida, took place from March 4-10 and was attended by more than 10,000 people throughout the duration. Shortly after the event, organisers confirmed that an attendee was diagnosed with coronavirus.

Many LGBT+ community leaders and health experts warned of a new cluster of coronavirus cases and, within days, the seeded cases began to emerge as Winter Partygoers reported testing positive for COVID-19.

Before and after photographs show gay nurse Mike Schultz hollowed out by COVID-19. 

In the weeks that followed, 38 people began falling seriously ill and at least three attendees died.

Months on since, and Schultz has sought to show the devastating toll the virus has. In rampaging his body, he showed what six weeks of fighting coronavirus can do.

In a pair of photographs uploaded to Instagram, the left showed Schultz one month before he was sickened. He weighed 190 pounds.

Yet, the right showed the effect of weeks of sedation, intubation and breathing via a ventilator. His face cratered and body lithe, his weight precipitously tumbled to 140 pounds.

‘I wanted to show it can happen to anyone.’

Speaking about the experience to Buzzfeed, Schultz said it exhausted him even having to rise from his hospital bed for a few minutes to take the photograph.

“I knew what I thought going in [about the coronavirus],” he said.

“I didn’t think it was as serious as it was until after things started happening. I thought I was young enough for it not to affect me, and I know a lot of people think that.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Update: passed my modified barium swallow test today So now I can eat what I want (pizza ) and drink what I want (coke zero). Also I walked around the PT gym a few times and climbed some small steps all while my PT secretly turned down my oxygen. This is the first day I’ve really walked btw. I am determined as hell to get out of here and get back to some sort of normalcy. I would not be able to do any of this if I didn’t have the help of my hero and boyfriend @dj_jwarren whom I haven’t seen since March 17. Hoping to get out of here very soon Where I’ll continue physical therapy at home. This disease is no joke people. if you think you’re too young to get it,think again. Thank all of you for your kind words and support I can only get through so much without getting emotional to have a good update in a few days. #stayhome #covid_19 #keepyourdistance

A post shared by Mike (@thebearded_nurse) on

“I wanted to show it can happen to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, have pre-existing conditions or not.

“It can affect you.”

He attended the Winter Party with his boyfriend, Joshua Hebblethwaite, who was a DJ at the event. “We knew it was out there,” Schultz continued.

“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.'”

After an “amazing” weekend they travelled to Hebblethwaite’s home in Boston on March 10. The next week, Schultz fell seriously ill, and by mid-March, he needed to be hospitalised.

He was sedated and taken to St Elizabeth’s Hospital in Brighton, Massachusetts, where he was in intensive care.

Winter Party coronavirus
Mike Schultz tested positive for coronavirus after attending the Winter Party Festival in Florida (Instagram/@thebearded_nurse)

Mike Schultz, a gay nurse from San Francisco, rawly recounted how time seemed to simmer and fade away as he dipped in and out of sedation while fighting COVID-19 across the last six weeks.

“I was so weak,” he recalled, “this was one of the most frustrating parts. I couldn’t hold my cellphone, it was so heavy.

“I couldn’t type because my hands shook so much.”

Countless followers, friends and loved ones of Schultz are fundraising for help covering his crippling medical costs, raising nearly $20,000 at the time of writing.

After 57 days blurred into one another, Schultz confirmed May 14 on Instagram that he has been discharged from the hospital.

More: Coronavirus, Miami, Mike Schultz, Winter Party

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