Photo: Instagram, October 15, 2021
Bodybuilding legend Flex Wheeler first went public on October 9 with the fact that while in Orlando, Florida, prior to the Olympia he was hospitalized with Covid-19. He was admitted to the hospital on October 8.
October 15: He provided an update in an Instagram post:
Still in the hospital. Covid Bon-respiratory symptoms are getting better. Body aches, fever, and migraines are starting to get less excruciating day by day.
A few days ago I did start to experience respiratory issues. I was put on oxygen (no breathing tube) and meds. The meds seem to be working and they have lowered the level of oxygen that I am on. I will be on these meds for at least another 11 days. The doctors did actually smile during my last chest films, they don’t normally give you a hint either way, so I’ll take it!
The scary: I am in acute kidney failure, so my INR stabilization is an issue right now. As you may know, I received a kidney transplant over a decade ago.
I am in that rare case of people that are immunocompromised, while also taking immunosuppressant drugs for my kidney. So, even though I’m fully vaccinated, I hit that sweet spot that put me in danger for this virus. Covid really is the worst thing that I’ve ever gone through.
I do need to thank all my family and close friends that have been checking in on me. @jake_wood_media and @wingsofstrength thank you for everything. So sorry I missed out on the biggest show of the year! @davebautista thank you for the kind words of support in your video!
I will beat this!
October 23: Wheeler provided a bleaker update:
I’m still here putting up the fight of the Century. Seems like that’s becoming more and more of the norm for over the last two decades. Lungs are showing more Covid damage. Kidney has taken a beating and function is declining. I’m exhausted and barely have any energy to even get out of bed to even go to the toilet. Everything it’s such a major chore.
But I’m not broken‼️ I have a spirit in me that doesn’t allow me to quit. I have a spirit in me at wont allow me to give up. EVER NO MATTER WHAT. That spirit is my driving force, it’s my energy source. It’s my faith. It’s the all mighty true GOD 🙏🏾
I don’t want any of you for one second to feel sorry for me. Because I’m right where I need to be. Exactly right where I need to be in this moment in time. I already know I will make a complete recovery. I already know that I will come out stronger wiser and More compassionate. I already know i’ll be victorious. Therefore I FIGHT ON ✊🏾
As it now there’s no clear direction or date as to when I’ll be able to be released from the hospital here in Florida and fly back home to Vegas. I will try to keep you all abreast much as possible. I hope that you all have a amazing weekend 🙏🏾🖤
October 29: Wheeler posted a short video of himself on Instagram, still in an Orlando hospital bed, on oxygen but not on a ventilator, and smiling for the camera. He mouths “One Love.” The post’s only text reads: Nothing but love ❤️
November 9: Wheeler posted a video on Instagram, praising the loyalty of his friend, martial artists Cassio Cardozo. He’s still in the Orlando hospital, still receiving oxygen. But shaved, dressed in his own pajamas, smiling, and sitting up in bed, Wheeler looked the healthiest and happiest he had in a month.
November 9: Later that same day, great news, Wheeler was released from the hospital where he had stayed for 33 days. He released a 12-minute video on Instagram, explaining, sometimes through coughs, his ordeal and his gratitude for all who have supported him. He is scheduled to fly home to Las Vegas on November 10.