Mike Schultz, an RN who was put on a ventilator because of the coronavirus, put the physical effects of the virus on display in a “before and after” selfie pairing that he posted to his Instagram last week.
In the first photo, Schultz looks healthy, posing shirtless, showing his abs and muscular arms. In the second photo, which looks like it was taken in a hospital bathroom, Schultz is significantly thinner and his muscles are much less toned.
The 43-year-old nurse wrote that he wanted people to see the effects of his COVID-19 experience and being intubated for six weeks. “I wanted to show everyone how badly being sedated for 6 weeks on a ventilator or intubated can be,” he wrote in the caption. “Amongst other things, covid19 reduced my lung capacity with pneumonia.”
He also wrote that even though he was away from his loved ones, he was getting better, and he said that he would eventually return to the way he looked in the first photo. “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,” he wrote.
According to Buzzfeed, Schultz’s weight dropped from about 190 pounds to 140 pounds. “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. “I thought I was young enough for it not to affect me, and I know a lot of people think that.”
Schultz also told Buzzfeed that he’d only felt like a week had gone by when he woke up after being placed on the ventilator and felt frustratingly weak after waking up. “I couldn’t hold my cellphone; it was so heavy. I couldn’t type, because my hands shook so much.”
In an Instagram post shared on May 14, Schultz wrote that he’d been released from the hospital and that he was spending time with his boyfriend. He thanked his family and friends for all their support. “There aren’t enough words to describe how thankful I am for his help, for the support from my family, and for the thoughts and prayers of so many of you,” he wrote in the caption. “I appreciate all of your kind words. I still have months of recovery ahead of me. So happy I get to spend it with Josh.”