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Nurse's confronting body transformation after coronavirus battle

A nurse in the United States has shared his harrowing experience battling coronavirus – and the physical transformation it triggered in him.

Healthcare worker Mike Shultz spent more than six weeks in a Boston hospital after he was struck down with the novel coronavirus.

Before contracting COVID-19, Mr Shultz was an avid gym-goer and worked out nearly every day, with an impressive physique to show for it.

But it didn’t take long for the coronavirus to take that all away.

The 43-year-old, who goes by moniker The Bearded Nurse on Instagram, shared his near-fatal ordeal on social media as a warning to others about the potential severity of the disease even for perfectly healthy people.

In a confronting post, he shared a before and after photo, following his coronavirus battle which saw him lose close to 20 kilos.

“I wanted to show everyone how badly being sedated for 6 weeks on a ventilator or intubated can be,” he wrote.

Mike Shultz shared before and after shots taken in the mirror.
Mike Shultz took the image on the right in a coronavirus recovery ward. Source: Facebook

“Amongst other things, covid19 reduced my lung capacity with pneumonia,” he wrote.

“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.”

The ‘Bearded Nurse’ discharged from hospital after 57 days

In an interview with Buzzfeed News US, Mr Shultz said when he woke up after being sedated and intubated during treatment he began chatting to one of the nurses. He thought it had only been a week since he was admitted to the coronavirus ward.

The nurse told him it had actually been six weeks.

“I was so weak. This was one of the most frustrating parts,” he told Buzzfeed this week. “I couldn’t hold my cellphone – it was so heavy. I couldn’t type, because my hands shook so much.”

Mr Shultz said he had no pre-existing health issues and was totally caught off guard by how hard the coronavirus hit him.

In a post on May 14, he celebrated being discharged by going through McDonald’s on the drive home with his partner.

“After 57 days in the hospital not able to see any visitors, battling covid induced pneumonia, I’m finally going home!”

Mr Schultz said he still had “months of recovery ahead” of him.

Hundreds gather in Massachusetts on May 16 to push for a reopening of the economy and an end to the current restrictions. Source: Getty
Hundreds gather in Massachusetts on May 16 to push for a reopening of the economy and an end to the current restrictions. Source: Getty

Friends praised Mr Shultz for sharing his experience and expressed elation that he was on the way home.

“Beyond humbled by your experience and hopeful for your fast healing. Thank you for sharing,” one person wrote.

“Good to see you up and about - been in a similar situation and those muscles will come back,” another said.

While from San Francisco, Mr Shultz was hospitalised in Massachusetts, one of the worst hit states in the US.

Massachusetts has recorded 5,938 COVID-19 deaths so far, the third most of any state in the country.

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