Just days after sharing that Dmitriy Stuzhuk had tested positive for COVID-19, Dmitriy Stuzhuk, a 33-year-old Ukrainian fitness influencer, died. Stuzhuk went to Instagram on October 14 to tell his 1.1 million followers that while he had previously believed the virus was a hoax, on a trip to Turkey he ended up contracting it.
Dmitriy Stuzhuk Warned His Followers to Take the Virus Seriously
In his post at the hospital, Stuzhuk said COVID-19 was his eighth day. He was saying, “I want to share how I got sick and strongly warn everyone. I also believed that COVID-19 did not exist, until I got sick. COVID-19 DISEASE IS NOT SHORT-LIVED! And it is heavy.”
He said he started feeling a swollen neck and trouble breathing on his second day in Turkey under the weather, with his first symptoms. He had a bit of a stomach ache as well, he wrote.
He said he had a cough the next day, but no fever. He said he didn’t think it was a virus because he didn’t have the well-known symptoms of a fever. He wrote that he thought his symptoms could be the product of playing sports, changing his climate, and sleeping with the air conditioning on. He added that he took different tests when he returned to Ukraine, including a ‘just in case’ COVID test, and received a positive result.
Stuzhuk also wrote about his stay in the hospital and the conditions there. He wrote that the hospital has many concerns, including overcrowding and lack of food.
He said he was given a breathing apparatus to supply him with extra oxygen and agreed to continue his care at home as, given the hospital conditions, he felt he would be more relaxed there.
In the hospital, Stuzhuk shared a few photos of himself, along with a more detailed text picture telling his followers:
I realized that this virus itself is terrible and this is not normal pneumonia. I want those who are skeptical to realize that this isn’t fictional and the virus is really scary. Everyone has it in a different form: some have mild symptoms, some have no symptoms and some have more severe symptoms. You never know how it can happen.
But in spite of everything I feel that the peak is already behind me and I will soon recover. Take care of yourselves, your loved ones, wear masks, and wash your hands more often. This is really important now. Now, more than ever, life is valuable to me because I have three wonderful children.
Six months ago, Stuzhuk and Sofia, 25, were divorced and the two had three children together, with the youngest being just nine months old.
Death Cause Full Details
Stuzhuk announced in his social media post that he was hospitalized in Ukraine, but that his condition was stable. That was his last message. Stuzhuk’s ex-wife Sofia, also an influencer with more than 5.2 million followers, wrote on her Instagram on October 16 that he had died.
Stuzhuk was released from the hospital after an 8-day stay, according to Sky News, but then suffered heart problems after returning home. He was rushed back to the hospital, the outlet reported, with Sofia sharing that his condition was “grave” and “unconscious.” She said Stuzhuk had “problems with his cardiovascular system… his heart is not coping. His state is extremely grave. No-one can do anything with this. I did everything I could so the father of my three children lives. But nothing depends on me now.”
On October 16, Sofia Stuzhuk first posted about the death of her ex-husband, writing simply: “Dima is no longer with us” and that his heart had failed. At sunset, she shared an image of them with their kids on the beach. She wrote a long post and a tribute to her former husband on October 17, along with a series of photos of them as a couple and with their children.
She wrote in her post that she was just 19 when the two got together, and she became more independent and stronger by the time their relationship ended six years later. She admitted that their relationship was not perfect and had many difficulties, but that together they shared so much and he taught her a great deal. She was saying, “I will remain grateful to you for the rest of my life for our three beautiful children, for the invaluable experiences and for who I have become with you.”
She finished her post by saying, “We were no longer together, but it hurts me no less. I am so sorry … Thank you for everything, my important person, my main teacher, my guide, the father of my children. You are our guardian angel and your love will always protect our angels.”