A US man who contracted COVID-19 at an LGBTIQ festival in March has shared before and after photos after spending weeks hospitalised on a ventilator.
Mike Schultz, who is a nurse in San Francisco, got sick after contracting the coronavirus at Florida’s Miami Winter Party Festival in early March, before US lockdown restrictions.
A week after the event, he discovered he was one of at least 38 confirmed COVID-19 cases from the event. Three have died.
The 43-year-old rushed to hospital with a fever and fluid on his lungs. He was sedated, intubated and placed on a ventilator, before making a slow recovery.
Schultz posted photos to Instagram of himself six weeks apart, to show the effects of the virus on his body.
He said he wanted the photos to serve as a reminder the virus can affect everyone.
“I wanted to show everyone how badly being sedated for 6 weeks on a ventilator or intubated can be,” he wrote.
“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.”
Schultz said his weight dropped from 190lbs (86kg) to 140lbs (63.5kg) in six weeks as he recovered.
He also quipped, “I’ll get back to where I was in healthier ways this time… maybe even do cardio.”
Nurse wants people to understand risks of COVID-19
Schultz told Buzzfeed he did know the risks when he went to the festival. But he also considered his personal risk low because of his age and health.
“I didn’t think it was as serious as it was until after things started happening,” he said.
“I thought I was young enough for it not to affect me, and I know a lot of people think that.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, have pre-existing conditions or not. I wanted to show it can happen to anyone. It can affect you.”
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